Whatmore unleashes the hairdryer

ZIMBABWE national cricket team players for the first time saw the angry side of coach Davenell “Dav” Whatmore after they surrendered to a 20-run defeat to Pakistan in their Group B clash of the current ICC World Cup in Brisbane on Sunday.

KEVIN MAPASURE in HOBART, AUSTRALIA

Whatmore told sister paper NewsDay Sport in an interview yesterday that he was so disappointed he gave the players an earful.

The players confirmed that they got a licking and were ordered to apologise to each other as they had let themselves down, the team and an expectant cricket loving country.

Zimbabwe had built up expectation ahead of the match at the Gabba after their exploits against South Africa and the West Indies where despite losing they were lauded for the spirited chases at targets beyond 300.

They had set themselves well for a win with a fine display with the ball especially in the first 40 overs before leaking 73 runs in the final ten overs and compounding that with a woeful batting display.

“For spectators it was an overally good game to watch, it was very competitive,” said Whatmore.

“But for us it was disappointing to see it unfold because in the first half the team had done enough to suggest they could end as winners by night. We had discussed the importance of winning this match to ensure we improved our chances of going through to the next stage, but now while it’s still achievable it’s a bit tougher.”

Yesterday, Whatmore prepared reports for individual players and met each of them to demonstrate their shortcomings and his recommendations ahead of another must-win encounter against Ireland this weekend.

What was particularly disappointing for him in the last match were the small things that he thought could have been avoided such as extras and dropped catches.

Zimbabwe gave away 20 extras while Pakistan had 19, but the former bowled 17 wides.

“17 wides? That’s just giving the opposition to bat an extra three overs, and that will do a lot of damage and we could have chased a lesser target had we been more accurate.”

 Hamilton Masakadza

Hamilton Masakadza

While Zimbabwe had more boundaries, (19), compared to Pakistan’s 16, it is the singles that contributed in making the difference between the two sides.

Pakistan scored 96 singles while Zimbabwe in their chase managed just 65, yet singles could have taken them home safely chasing 236.

“The difference of 31 runs in singles is too much, had we got those runs we would have won the match. We had a bad start to the innings and couldn’t quite recover. (Mohammed) Irfan is a good bowler and he extracted a lot of bounce on that wicket. We knew that Pakistan would come out fighting, but we just did not bat well enough to win the match. We kept losing wickets, which didn’t help our cause. Hamilton Masakadza’s departure was key to the defeat because he was forming a nice partnership with Brendan Taylor.”

Zimbabwe lost two wickets in the first 10 overs, managed to negotiate the second 10 without any loss, but lost two between over 21 and 30, losing four between the 31st and 40th over with two falling in the last 10.

Worryingly for Zimbabwe they only managed 11 runs in the Power Plays and lost three wickets in those periods.

While the numbers make a disappointing reading, Whatmore has since focused his attention to rebuilding confidence ahead of the next match.

“We have to motivate the players now, we are desperate to put up a good performance and win the match against Ireland. But for us to win we need to get the processes right. So far we have played good cricket, just that against South Africa and the West Indies we leaked too many runs. Pakistan gave us a good experience and we will use that going into the next match.”

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