Zimbabwe fails at first hurdle


AS widely expected, after the shambolic build-up Zimbabwe lost the must-win in encounter to Ireland at the World Cup Twenty 20 (T20). Closer to home, snakes run riot at local cricket venue.

Zimbabwe's players react after Ireland win the match with a stole bye off the last ball Ireland-  Zimbabwe World T20 First Round Group B on  March 17-2014
Zimbabwe’s players react after Ireland win the match with a stole bye off the last ball Ireland- Zimbabwe World T20 First Round Group B on March 17-2014

Zimbabwe lost a thriller to Ireland, all but rendering an end to their world cup campaign no sooner than it had begun. Zimbabwe was in the papers for all the wrong reasons and failed to overcome the Irish. Zimbabwe and Ireland are fighting for one slot with minnows Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates.

The winner of the game barring an unthinkable event would qualify for the tournament proper. Many feel Zimbabwe was unlucky to go down with the last ball of the match, but should they have been in that position in the first place?

Zimbabwe has in the recent past been widening the gap between the Test playing countries and closing in on the associates. So bad is the situation that most bookmakers had Ireland as favourites for the match.

The problem with this status quo is that as David Moyes of Manchester United will testify, once people believe they can compete against you and beat you, they usually do. Zimbabwe was stunned by Hong Kong in a warm-up match and only just got over the line against Afghanistan.

The loss to Ireland strengthens the belief that had it not been for shrewd behind the scenes political manoeuvring Zimbabwe would have lost Test status. Zimbabwean players were expected to show the world they are worthy of the demands they have been coming up with of late, but looks more like a bunch of people who know their international careers are coming to an end and want to make hay while there is little sunshine left.

  • On the Crease has given many schools of thought on the future of the game and now more than ever it is up to the players to take a deep look at themselves and figure out where to go from here.

Maybe Ireland’s next two games will be washed out and like the coach said he will still lead Zimbabwe to the final. Even in this unlikely scenario it is not a foregone conclusion that Zimbabwe will beat the Netherlands and United Arab Emirates.

It is past the time to put our hands up and show once and for all that we belong with the very best in the cricketing world and not the associates. On the Crease will try get the exact figures the players are demanding for their participation in the tournament.

  • Sri Lanka will at the end of the World Cup lose the services in T-20 cricket of two of their longest serving lieutenants, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene. I know a lot of bowlers around the world that are breathing a huge sigh of relief.

The two have been the cornerstone of the Sri Lankan team’s success especially in coloured clothing. They have juggled the captaincy and led the side to many finals, but not yet the big prize. If ever there are two people that deserve to win a tournament for their contribution to world cricket, it is these two.

They appear to have been part of the Sri Lankan batting forever. Sri Lanka will be my sentimental favourites, for that particular reason. I still hope however the West Indies who are defending champions do well in the tournament. Who is your favourite and why?

  • Tuskers continue to improve and of late a new boy has put up his hand in a big way. Whenever opportunity presents itself, grab it with both hands. One young man doing that to the full is Steve Chimamhiwa. He showed great potential and was selected to represent the country at Under-19 level. He has since struggled due to competition to cement a place in the side.

However, this season he is a regular and he is picking up wickets by the bucket loads. He has found his radar and surely people are starting t take notice. Hope he keeps going, he has just blown the Southern Rocks away with a six-wicket haul in the first innings of their Logan Cup encounter.

A local league match at Emakhandeni Cricket Ground had to be abandoned when an unwanted fielder tried to stop the ball on the boundary.

The players say a one and a half-metre cobra was spotted in the grass inside the boundary rope. Fearing for their safety the players took to their heels much to the chagrin of the snake which obviously wanted to catch some rays and enjoy a game of cricket.

Resident coach Vincent Dhururu says big snakes are a common sight at the ground, but says they appear to have bred more this season. Be careful next time you field on the boundary at that venue.

“N”, is for “no ball”. When the bowler has over stepped the popping crease or the ball has bounced higher than the batsman’s head in his normal stance.