National cricket team players have hit the right notes at the correct time with batsmen finding confidence-boosting runs ahead of the 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next month.
Concern has been raised over Craig Ervine’s inclusion in the squad after he struggled for runs in Bangladesh on his return to international cricket from self-imposed exile.
But the left-handed batter went some distance to allay fears with a well-constructed century for Matabeleland Tuskers in their eight wicket loss to Mashonaland Eagles in a Pro 50 encounter on Wednesday.
Ervine’s ton is encouraging as it came against a decent bowling attack that contains Elton Chigumbura and Sikandar Raza Butt, both in the squad for the global cricket showcase.
The performance would have silenced any murmurs of dissent even though Ervine knows what he will encounter at the tournament is tougher.
Raza is selected as a batsman and he showed why with an entertaining 106-run knock.
He will probably open the batting with Chamu Chibhabha who cracked 74 runs, batting against a very good attack parading Brian Vitori, Tawanda Mupariwa, Chris Mpofu, spinners John Nyumbu and Sean Williams.
The Eagles opening stand put up 142 runs before Chibhabha was defeated by Mpofu and Raza went unbeaten on 106 off just 111 balls.
Coach Dave Whatmore would have been pleased with the opening pair showing bright signs as well as Ervine playing well.
The other World Cup-bound batsmen in the Eagles-Tuskers match did not get much time in the middle.
Taylor joined Raza late in the final few overs while Regis Chakabva and Elton Chigumbura’s services with the bat were not required.
Sean Williams, in the Tuskers line up, did not do well with either bat or ball, and will be hoping for an improvement against MidWest Rhinos tomorrow.
Doubts have also been cast over Stuart Matsikenyere’s readiness for this tournament, but he also exhibited encouraging signs with 31 runs before he fell to a run out.