Zim face New Zealand in warm-up game

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Elton Chigumbura

NATIONAL cricket team captain Elton Chigumbura says his charges will be looking to play a positive, aggressive brand of cricket when they take on Cricket World Cup co-hosts New Zealand in their first official warm-up match at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln today.

DANIEL NHAKANISO
SPORTS REPORTER

A win over the co-hosts would be huge confidence boost for the side which is aiming to surpass expectations by progressing beyond the group stage of the Cricket World Cup for only the third time in their history.

“We want to be positive and express ourselves,” the 28-year-old all-rounder said in an interview with stuff.co.nz yesterday.

“We’ll be using the game to try and finalise our best XI and our game plan. We know it’s just a warm-up game, but we’re going to try our best and treat it very seriously.”

Zimbabwe will be hoping to put up a decent show against a confident New Zealand side which has already been tagged as one of the favourites to lift the World Cup.

The Davenell “Dav” Whatmore-coached side will head into the match with their tails up after their 3-0 whitewash of the New Zealand domestic side, the Northern Districts XI in Gisborne last week.

Coach Davenell “Dav” Whatmore
Coach Davenell “Dav” Whatmore

They will, however, be well aware of the threat posed by a full-strength New Zealand side which has been in red-hot form ahead of the World Cup after series wins over Sri Lanka and Pakistan.

New Zealand all-rounder Grant Elliott said they would be aiming to maintain the momentum that saw them win the series against Sri Lanka 4-2 and the series against Pakistan 2-0.

“Even though it’s a warm-up game, we want to try and keep that momentum going that we’ve had for the last month,” he said.

“There’s not as much emphasis on the result, but it would be nice to win these games.

“We’ve been fortunate that we’ve been winning a lot of games, but we’re not too results-driven. In a World Cup that will play a part, but we’re all about the process and making sure we are enjoying it, and that everyone in the team is fulfilling their roles.”

Meanwhile, after today’s match, Zimbabwe will play Sri Lanka in their final official warm-up match before their first World Cup Pool B match against neighbours South Africa next Sunday.

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (cpt), Trent Boult, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Daniel Vettori, Kane Williamson, Corey Anderson, Tim Southee, Luke Ronchi (wkt), Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Tom Latham, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan.

Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (cpt), Sikandar Butt, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Solomon Mire, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tinashe Panyangara, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams