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Zimbabwe prove they are on the right track

ZIMBABWE lost its first tri-nations series on home soil in eight years due to poor batting in the Micromax series final despite putting up great performances against Sri Lanka and India.

Some of Zimbabwe’s batsmen such as Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza displayed commendable levels of maturity and consistency in the One Day International (ODI) Series.

For instance, in the ODI series against West Indies in February the Zimbabwe batsmen failed to record high totals with Hamilton Masakadza managing 49 runs in a five ODI Series, which Zimbabwe lost 4-1. In the Micromax series, Zimbabwe batsmen managed to have consistency with Masakadza and Brendan Taylor being the pacemakers in the partnerships.

After winning their first match in Bulawayo Zimbabwe found consistency, only losing one match in the other three matches.
With Sri Lanka ranked sixth and India third in the world in ODI matches, this was a tough task but credit to the bowlers and the good fielding by players who managed to restrict their opponents to manageable run totals and the highest chase of 285 against India. Zimbabwe could not chase 206 runs in the West Indies.

Zimbabwe cruised through to the final in a tournament involving Test playing nations.
There was a huge crowd at the final played at Harare Sports Club with Zimbabwean fans hoping for a rare triumph after the team’s good perfomances.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s Brendan Taylor, the most experienced batsman in the team, was awarded the man of the series and won three Man of the Match awards in the series. He was the second highest batsman with 295 runs in the series and pocketed US$7 500 in the tournament. During the tournament he managed to set a new personal best of 119 runs.

In an interview, Taylor said: “My success in the series was through hard work and the input of Dave Houghton and the coach; it has been fantastic winning the man of the match three times. Credit goes to the team without whom I would not have gone through partnerships.

In the matches my plan was to be relaxed as much as possible and take each ball as it comes. It was a wonderful tournament for me.”

India and Zimbabwe will play in two Twenty20 matches over the weekend and India would want to bounce back from their defeats. The Indians would use the experience they gained from the IPL League in India where Twenty20 matches were played and there was stiff competition.

 

Ashley Muromo

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