FORGOTTEN batsman Chamu Chibhabha played one of the best innings of his career to steer the Zimbabwe A to a convincing 110-run win over the touring Canada cricket team in the opening one-day match at Harare Sports yesterday.
After the Canada skipper Hamza Tariq won the toss and elected to bowl, Chibhabha tore apart the tourists’ attack to steer he home side to a competitive 287 for eight in their allotted 50 overs.
The 28-year-old aggressive top order batsman put on a scintillating display, smashing 155 off just 146 balls in a memorable innings that included 12 fours and five sixes.
Chibhabha’s man-of-the-match display formed the bedrock of Zimbabwe A’s innings as he shared valuable partnerships with Stuart Matsikenyeri (50) and Timycen Maruma (35) before he was dismissed in the final over.
The solid batting perfomance was well complemented by the bowlers as seamer Tawanda Mupariwa claimed four early wickets to help dismiss the tourists for a measly 176 for six in their allotted 50 overs.
Mupariwa, who went on to finish with impressive bowling figures of four for 31 runs in 10 overs, started his bowling spell like a house on fire to leave Canada reeling on 34 for three in the first 12 overs.
Having been recently overlooked by the selectors, Mupariwa, who has been a consistent performer at domestic level, could well push for national selection once again after his impressive display yesterday.
The 29-year-old, who relies mainly on accuracy and the ability to swing and seam the ball, made it very difficult for the Canadians to score.
After plundering the runs for the team, Chibhabha played a cameo role with the ball, dismissing Tariq (3) to break a stubborn fifth wicket partnership stand of 56 runs.
The match also saw Prosper Utseya making a return to competitive cricket since being cleared to bowl his slower deliveries and although he finished wicketless, the seasoned off-spinner conceded just 21 runs from his 10 overs.