Steve Kirby confirmed as Zimbabwe’s new Bowling Coach

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has confirmed the appointment of Englishman Steve Kirby as the Zimbabwe senior men’s new Bowling Coach.

 

He is expected to join the national team ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 that starts in Australia next month.

 

Kirby, a former first-class cricketer, has until his latest appointment been serving as bowling coach at Somerset, one of the sides that he played for during his long and successful county career in England.

 

The 44-year-old also worked together with current Zimbabwe Head Coach Dave Houghton at Derbyshire.

 

Commenting on the appointment of Kirby, ZC Director of Cricket Hamilton Masakadza said: “We are delighted to confirm Steve as our Bowling Coach for the senior men’s team.

 

“He has done incredibly well as a player and coach in county cricket over the years and, as we seek to continue strengthening all facets of our game and improving our performances at the highest level, we count ourselves privileged and fortunate to have him as part of our technical set-up.”

 

Kirby said when the opportunity to join Zimbabwe came along, he felt it was one that was too good to ignore.

 

“I’ve got aspirations to be the very best coach that I can be, and international cricket is something that I really want to be involved with,” he said.

 

“I’ve worked really well with Dave Houghton previously when we were at Derbyshire and when this position presented itself, I felt that I couldn’t turn it down.

 

“The scale of the role is hugely exciting because I won’t just be working with the national XI, but I’ll also be involved with the whole pathway structure across the country.”

Zimbabwe announce squad for ICC Men’s T20 World Cup

Zimbabwe have announced their 15-man squad for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 to be staged in Australia starting next month.

 

Craig Ervine, sidelined by hamstring niggles since early August, is now fit and returns to captain the side.

 

Zimbabwe also received a timely boost with Tendai Chatara, Wellington Masakadza and Milton Shumba recovering from collarbone fracture, shoulder tendon and quadricep injuries respectively to make the squad.

 

Blessing Muzarabani, who was part of the side that recently toured Australia for a one-day international series but did not play a single game, is now fit enough to spearhead the team’s bowling attack again.

 

While the experienced Regis Chakabva, Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams were obvious choices, Bradley Evans, Tony Munyonga and Clive Madande have also made the cut.

 

The squad of 15 aside, Zimbabwe have named Tadiwanashe Marumani, Innocent Kaia, Kevin Kasuza, Victor Nyauchi and Tanaka Chivanga as the non-travelling reserves.

 

Zimbabwe’s campaign at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 will start on 17 October, when they face Ireland in the first of three Group B fixtures that will be played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart, Tasmania.

 

Next, they will take on the West Indies on 19 October and then complete their first-round action against Scotland on 21 October.

 

The top two teams from Group B will join the Super 12 stage, along with the top two teams from Group A which features Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Namibia.

 

The top two teams from each of the two Super 12 groups will advance to the semi-finals.

 

Before the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 proper gets underway, Zimbabwe will face Sri Lanka and Namibia in warm-up matches scheduled for 10 and 13 October in Melbourne.

 

ZIMBABWE SQUAD FOR ICC MEN’S T20 WORLD CUP 2022:

 

Ervine Craig (captain), Burl Ryan, Chakabva Regis, Chatara Tendai, Evans Bradley, Jongwe Luke, Madande Clive, Madhevere Wessly, Masakadza Wellington, Munyonga Tony, Muzarabani Blessing, Ngarava Richard, Raza Sikandar, Shumba Milton, Williams Sean

 

RESERVES: Chivanga Tanaka, Kaia Innocent, Kasuza Kevin, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Nyauchi Victor

Raza makes history after winning ICC Player of the Month Award

Sikandar Raza has been named as the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August 2022, creating history after becoming the first Zimbabwean to win the prestigious accolade.

 

The star all-rounder clinched the award on the back of a terrific run of form that saw him scoring three centuries against Bangladesh and India in August.

 

Raza was instrumental in claiming the ODI series victory for Zimbabwe against Bangladesh thanks to unbeaten scores of 135 and 117 which came during two superb run-chases.

 

He followed this up with a fine 115 against India in the final ODI in Harare, albeit in a losing cause.

 

In addition to his batting feats, he took seven key wickets during August, cementing his growing all-round credentials and seeing him rise to a career-high position of fourth in the MRF Tyres ICC Men’s ODI Player Rankings.

 

On being crowned the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August, Raza said: “I’m incredibly humbled and honoured to have won the player of the month award from the ICC – more humbling that I’m the first Zimbabwean to ever win such an award.

 

“I would like to thank everybody who has been in the changeroom with me over the past three to four months – that goes out to the technical staff and to the players. Without you guys this would not have been possible.

 

“Lastly, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fans in Zimbabwe and overseas for all your prayers, for all your wishes . . . they were well received and I’m forever grateful.”

 

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has congratulated Raza on his latest achievement.

 

“You have been enjoying an absolutely sensational year and after watching your terrific performances with the bat – including three centuries – against Bangladesh and India in August, I had no doubt you were miles ahead of the other nominees for the global accolade,” ZC Managing Director Givemore Makoni said.

 

“On behalf of Zimbabwe Cricket, I wish to extend our heartiest congratulations to you on achieving this well-deserved recognition, a clear testament to your hard work and determination over the years.”

 

Apart from Raza, the other nominees for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August were New Zealand all-rounder Mitchell Santner and England star Ben Stokes.

Mukuhlani hails ‘very special’ year as ZC holds AGM

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) held its annual general meeting (AGM) in Harare on Friday.

 

The AGM was convened physically for the first time in two years following the easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

 

During the gathering, the delegates adopted ZC’s audited financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2021.

 

The organisation once again received a clean audit opinion for the period under review following an independent audit carried out by PriceWaterhouseCoopers.

 

Reflecting on what he described as a difficult yet “very special” season, ZC Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani hailed stakeholders across the game for uniting and working hard to protect and uplift the sport under challenging circumstances.

 

“This was a very special season. From our women’s team playing their maiden ODI series to hosting two global events which were officially opened by His Excellency President Emmerson Mnangagwa to qualifying for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, I could not have been prouder of our achievements this year,” he said in his report.

 

“The pandemic brought its own challenges, it brought a new norm, playing in a bio-bubble, having to put up a bio-bubble for our domestic and international cricket. It brought new challenges and of course a strain on our budget,” he added.

 

“But overall, I would say a very successful year. We have been able to play our domestic cricket during COVID-19, we played international cricket during COVID-19.

 

“So yes, overall, it’s been a very successful year although we have had our difficult moments in terms of results coming through from the senior men’s team.

 

“But I would say generally the outlook for the organisation is very good, very positive.

 

“We are in a very good position financially and we have completed our processes with the ICC in so far as governance issues are concerned.”

 

Looking ahead, Mr Mukuhlani said with ZC now in good financial health, it was important for the organisation to channel more resources to grassroots cricket especially through the National Premier League (NPL).

 

“We have seen positive results at national team level and we think for us to get a good pipeline that is sustainable we must have a very good club competition and by putting in place that club competition we will be able to pull the development structures in the provinces along with us,” he said.

 

“So, management is working on a package to try and invest more in our NPL so that clubs can have decent coaching staff, maintain their facilities and look after their players.

 

“And that also includes ladies’ cricket. We want ladies club cricket, a T10 league for ladies and every club to have age-group and women’s sides.”

 

The AGM was attended by delegates representing all the 10 provinces affiliated to ZC.

Burl stars as Zimbabwe stun Australia to record historic victory

Australia – 141 all out in 31 overs (David Warner 94, Glenn Maxwell 19, Aaron Finch 5; Ryan Burl 5/10, Brad Evans 2/35, Victor Nyauchi 1/15)

Zimbabwe – 142-7 in 39 overs (Regis Chakabva 37*, Tadiwanashe Marumani 35, Takudzwanashe Kaitano 19; Josh Hazlewood 3/30, Marcus Stoinis 1/6, Ashton Agar 1/16)

Zimbabwe won by three wickets

A stunning spell of five wickets from Ryan Burl, followed by a wonderful captain’s innings of 37 not out from Regis Chakabva, steered Zimbabwe to their first ever victory over Australia in their own backyard in the third and final one-day international at Riverway Stadium in Townsville on Saturday.

The tourists bowled out the home side for 141 and then fought all the way to chase down their target with three wickets and 11 overs in hand.

Zimbabwe broke their sequence of toss losses and were able to bowl first this time round.

They made two changes to their team, bringing in Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Victor Nyauchi for Innocent Kaia and Luke Jongwe.

Richard Ngarava and Nyauchi began with a superb opening spell against David Warner and Australia captain Aaron Finch, finding accuracy, movement in the air and bounce from the pitch.

Warner had one or two narrow escapes early on, but Finch fell again to the bowling of Ngarava, edging a catch to Burl at second slip for five to make it nine for one in the fifth over.

Steve Smith scored a single, but then decided to leave a ball from Nyauchi that came back in and trapped him lbw – 10 for two.

Warner, now joined by Alex Carey, decided to fight fire with fire and launched into a series of boundaries against the bowlers, taking the score to 31 in the ninth over.

Brad Evans replaced Ngarava and struck in his first over, as Carey, aiming a big hit over mid-on, edged a catch to Chakabva, the wicket-keeper, for four.

Warner hit Evans for six and four from successive deliveries, but the bowler fought back by producing a superb leg-cutter that Marcus Stoinis (3) edged to Chakabva.

The umpire gave it not out, but the Decision Review System supported Zimbabwe and the hosts were down to 59 for four in the 15th over.

Warner, dominating the batting, went through to his fifty off 47 balls.

Cameron Green began cautiously, but when he did try to open up he drove a catch to Burl at cover off the bowling of Sean Williams, and Australia were now in trouble at 72 for five off 18 overs.

Glenn Maxwell now seemed to prove the partner Warner needed, and the pair attacked the Zimbabwe spinners, sailing past the 100 in fine style.

Then came what proved to be a match-changing move, as Chakabva brought on Burl to bowl his leg-breaks.

Maxwell, with 19 off 22 balls, tried a big leg-side hit, but sliced the ball high on the off side, with the bowler himself able to run across and hold the catch.

Australia were now 129 for six in the 27th over, the pair having put on 57 runs in nine overs.

The next man, Ashton Agar, was out second ball, hitting a full toss straight to Wessly Madhevere at midwicket without addition to the score.

Warner looked unstoppable as he was now approaching his century, but in Burl’s next over, on 94, he decided to reach his century with a six over midwicket, only to mistime his stroke and getting caught by Evans on the boundary.

He had scored 94 off 96 balls, with two sixes and 14 fours, and left Australia with a score of 135 for eight off 29 overs.

This left only tail-enders to carry on the Australian innings, and in his next over Burl wrapped them up.

A flighted ball pitched right up to Mitchell Starc bowled him out for two, and the last man, Josh Hazlewood, edged his final delivery to the keeper, although it again took Zimbabwe’s DRS challenge to have him given out, without scoring.

This left Adam Zampa not out with one and Australia, to the disbelief of the locals, were dismissed for 141 in 31 overs.

Burl finished with the remarkable figures of five wickets for 10 runs off only three overs.

Evans picked up two wickets, and it was unfortunate that Ngarava and Nyauchi, who had bowled so well to make the early breakthrough, could only finish with a wicket each.

Zimbabwe had bowled and fielded so well that, apart from Warner, the only other Australia player to reach double figures was Maxwell.

The chase got underway with Kaitano opening the batting with Tadiwanashe Marumani, against the bowling of Starc and Hazlewood.

Starc began uncharacteristically with a couple of loose balls in his opening over, and Kaitano did very well to take full advantage, hitting two fours, to fine leg and past point, the ideal start for Zimbabwe.

Marumani had a quieter start, but in the fourth over played a superb straight drive for four off a good-length ball from Hazlewood.

He followed this with two successive boundaries off the first change bowler, Green, although the first was off the edge.

Both batters enjoyed a little luck, but they did well to take the score by positive batting to 38 in the ninth over before Kaitano edged a slip catch off Hazlewood after scoring 19 off 23 balls.

There followed some trouble for Zimbabwe, as the new man, Madhevere, scored only two before he slashed a ball from Hazlewood to give a sharp catch to point – 44 for two.

Sean Williams, in next, was most unfortunate in that his first ball was probably the most unplayable of the day, leaping up at him and brushing his glove to be caught by the wicket-keeper, Carey.

Then Sikandar Raza tried to pull a shortish ball from Stoinis, but got a top edge to send a catch to long leg, and departed for eight – 66 for four.

Chakabva then came in and did well from the start, but he lost Marumani, who had played a valuable innings, but now tried to charge Green and skyed a catch that was taken by the wicket-keeper running across to point.

He had scored 35 off 47 balls, with four fours, and Zimbabwe’s run-chase was now looking uncertain at 77 for five in the 19th over.

Then came the partnership that turned the match for Zimbabwe, as the cool-headed Tony Munyonga joined Chakabva at the wicket.

Munyonga did not begin very steadily, but he kept cool and hung in there, even though managing only a single off his first 15 balls.

He had some luck on seven, as he miscued a cut off Zampa, and Finch at slip could not hold a sharp chance – this proved to be a vital miss.

The pair otherwise consolidated well and the score began to mount amid great tension, the 100 coming up in the 27th over.

They took the score to 115, the partnership being worth 38 vital runs in 13 overs, before Munyonga swept at the wrong ball from Agar and was bowled for 17, scored off 40 balls.

Burl now joined Chakabva, and they continued to fight for runs against all the pressure that the Australians could apply, moving all the time closer to their target.

Burl played patiently, but when he had scored 11 off 17 balls, he mishit a drive and was easily caught at mid-off, with the score now 137 for seven after 37 overs.

It was another vital partnership that brought Zimbabwe another 21 runs and left five runs for victory, which was still not assured.

Chakabva, relying on all his experience, was joined by Evans, who kept his head and the runs came one by one.

Two overs later, Evans drove a ball from Starc through the covers for the single that won the match for Zimbabwe after 39 overs.

Evans had two not out, while Chakabva’s superb fighting innings brought him 37 not out off 72 balls, with three fours, a true captain’s innings.

Hazlewood was the most successful Australia bowler with three wickets for 30 runs in his full 10 overs.

Australia have won the series by two victories to one.

Australia make short work of Zimbabwe to clinch series

Zimbabwe – 96 all out in 27.5 overs (Sean Williams 29, Sikandar Raza 17, Regis Chakabva 10; Adam Zampa 3/21, Mitchell Starc 3/24, Cameron Green 2/7)

Australia – 100-2 in 14.4 overs (Steven Smith 47*, Alex Carey 26*, David Warner 13; Richard Ngarava 2/16)

 

Australia won by eight wickets

A superb spell of new-ball bowling from Australia left-arm paceman Mitchell Starc shattered the Zimbabwe top order and sent them on their way to an eight-wicket defeat in the second one-day international match at Riverway Stadium in Townsville on Wednesday.

The tourists lost the toss again and once again they were put in to bat on a pitch that seemed to be tailor-made for the home side’s array of pace bowlers.

Starc, swinging the ball and moving it off the pitch at pace with bounce, removed Zimbabwe’s top three batters in each of his second, third and fourth overs.

The score had reached 13, of which seven were extras, when Innocent Kaia (2) was beaten and yorked by a late inswinger that just tipped his off stump.

Two overs later another full swinging delivery trapped Wessly Madhevere lbw without scoring, as he tried to flick it to the leg side.

Tadiwanashe Marumani (4) was the third to go, as he flicked a ball in the air straight to forward short leg who took a comfortable catch, and in the seventh over Zimbabwe were 14 for three.

Zimbabwe’s two most experienced batters, Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza, now had to play themselves in with care, see off the top Australia pacemen and rebuild the innings.

Raza in particular had a couple of early narrow escapes, but finally he decided it was time to increase the run rate.

He hit Josh Hazelwood for four over midwicket and six over long-off from successive deliveries, but two balls later he edged a short fast lifting delivery to the keeper and was caught for 17 off 37 balls – 46 for four in the 15th over.

The captain, Regis Chakabva, came in and tried to get the runs flowing again – he scored 10 off 14 balls before he tried to clip a ball from the left-arm spinner Ashton Agar over the field but got a leading edge to mid-off, making the score 59 for five in the 18th over.

Tony Munyonga edged a ball from seamer Cameron Green that moved away from him, having made 10 off 15 balls – 79 for six in the 23rd over.

Williams all this time was trying both to hold the innings together and to increase the scoring rate, but in the 24th over he failed to read Adam Zampa’s googly and sliced a catch to short third man, where Green took a good diving catch.

He had scored 29 off 45 balls, and Zimbabwe’s troubles deepened at 83 for seven.

Ryan Burl hit a couple of good fours, but on 10 he got a ball from Green that bounced and moved off the pitch, and he could only edge it to the keeper for 10 in the 27th over – 93 for eight.

Luke Jongwe scored only a single before he too was surprised by a flipper from Zampa that bounced more than he expected, and went off his pad on to his stumps – 95 for nine.

Later in the same over Brad Evans (2) missed a slog to Zampa’s googly and was out lbw to a marginal decision, and Zimbabwe were all out for 96 in only 27.5 overs.

Starc took three wickets for 24 in eight overs, while Zampa had three for 21 and Green two for seven.

The conditions were still helpful to the pacemen, and Richard Ngarava put in a fine opening spell.

David Warner hit Evans for two fours in the latter’s opening over, but he slashed at the next ball he faced from Ngarava, and Evans himself took a fine low catch at third man to send him back for 13 out of 15 runs on the board.

Three balls later Ngarava removed Aaron Finch (1) with a fine delivery that caught him in two minds and resulted in an edge to slip, where the catch was held by Raza.

Australia were now 16 for two, and Zimbabwe pressed in hard to try to achieve another breakthrough.

But the hosts had plenty of time to score the runs, so they were not under pressure as Steve Smith and Alex Carey settled in together.

Smith however had a couple of narrow escapes against Ngarava and Evans, and Zimbabwe were most unfortunate not to secure his wicket early on.

He decided to hit his way out of trouble, which he began to do with some success, taking it out on Raza, whom he hit for three fours in an over.

Smith, who scored 47 not out off 41 balls, and Carey, 26 off 33, scored so quickly now that Australia romped home in 14.4 overs.

Ngarava took two wickets for 16 runs in his four excellent overs, and this included a rather desperate and uncharacteristic six from Smith.

Jongwe’s three overs cost only 13 runs.

The third and final match takes place at the same venue on Saturday, with Australia leading the series by two victories to nil.

 

Madhevere’s gutsy fifty in vain as Australia prevail in series opener

Zimbabwe – 200 all out in 47.3 overs (Wessly Madhevere 72, Tadiwanashe Marumani 45, Regis Chakabva 31; Cameron Green 5/33, Adam Zampa 3/57, Mitchell Marsh 1/22)

Australia – 201-5 in 33.3 overs (David Warner 57, Steven Smith 48*, Glenn Maxwell 32*; Ryan Burl 3/60, Richard Ngarava 1/26, Sikandar Raza 1/45)

 

Australia won by five wickets

In spite of fine innings from Wessly Madhevere and Tadiwanashe Marumani, who both recorded their highest one-day international scores, Zimbabwe went down to Australia by five wickets in their first match played on Sunday at Riverway Stadium in Townsville.

 

It was a fair performance by the tourists who apart from having a very brief time to acclimatise also had to cope with the absence of Sean Williams due to an arm injury sustained during training.

They lost the toss and were put in to bat by the hosts, who no doubt expected their bowlers to get some assistance from the conditions.

The pitch indeed gave them some movement and the bounce was uneven at times, but the first three Zimbabwe batters handled the situation very well.

The opening partnership of Innocent Kaia and Marumani put on 42 runs together, and the first wicket did not fall until the 11th over, when Kaia, having seen off the opening bowlers Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, hit a low return catch to Mitchell Marsh for 17.

There followed a partnership of 45 in 10 overs for the second wicket, as Madhevere joined Marumani and the runs continued to flow.

Marumani looked to be heading for his first ODI fifty, but with his score on 45 and the total 87, he attempted a leg-side hit across a straight ball from the leg-spinner Adam Zampa and was bowled.

Tony Munyonga (7) tried to play an attacking game, but skyed a big hit against Zampa that was brilliantly caught by Steve Smith running back from mid-off – 104 for three.

Sikandar Raza’s recent great deeds have gone before him to Australia, and no doubt there was relief on their part when he was dismissed for five after facing 24 balls, attempting to pull Cameron Green for six, but hitting a catch to deep square leg – 122 for four in the 32nd over.

There followed the highest partnership of the innings, as the captain Regis Chakabva joined Madhevere and the two of them defied the bowling to put on 63 together in just over 11 overs.

Madhevere was going very well and he reached his fifty off 67 balls and looked good for more.

After 40 overs Zimbabwe had reached an impressive 167 for four wickets and looked set for a good total after the final 10 overs.

Three overs later, however, it all began to go wrong as Madhevere miscued a googly from Zampa and chipped the ball back for a return catch.

He had made an excellent 72 off 139 balls, with four fours, and Zimbabwe were 185 for five.

In the 45th over Chakabva, having crafted 31 off 33 balls, slogged a ball from Green and skyed a catch, followed three balls later by Ryan Burl (2), who sliced a catch to deep third man.

Green enjoyed another double strike in his next over, as Luke Jongwe (3) holed out to deep midwicket and two balls later Brad Evans (5) did the same.

Green had taken four wickets in eight balls and Zimbabwe were now 198 for nine.

The last man, Victor Nyauchi, scored two to bring up the 200 before being bowled by Starc, and the innings ended with 15 balls unused and Richard Ngarava not out without scoring.

The last six wickets had fallen for only 15 runs in seven overs.

Green had the best figures with his pace bowling of five wickets for 33 off nine overs, while Zampa bowled his 10 to take three wickets for 57.

For Australia, a target of 201 was scarcely testing.

 

Madhevere was given the first over with his off-breaks, and it cost nine runs, the batters being the renowned big hitters Aaron Finch and David Warner.

They moved swiftly to 43, but in the eighth over Finch went for 15, chopping a ball from Ngarava on to his stumps.

Ngarava was bowling superbly, and both Warner and Smith had a narrow escape or two, with Warner surviving a difficult chance at backward point and an appeal for a catch at the wicket for which he actually started to walk off the field, only to be surprisingly reprieved by the umpires.

Finally, Warner was bowled by a good ball from Raza for 57 off 66 balls as he tried to heave it to leg – 108 for two in the 23rd over.

Alex Carey did not last long, nicely caught at long-on by Nyauchi off Burl’s bowling for 10 – 128 for three in the 26th over.

The big-hitting Marcus Stoinis went for 19 off 14 balls, as he top-edged a sweep off Burl that was held by Raza running back from slip, and three balls later Marsh (2) was well caught off the same bowler.

Australia were now 155 for five wickets and Zimbabwe appeared at this stage to have a slight chance of an upset victory.

However, Smith was playing his usual steady innings and Glenn Maxwell took on the bowlers from the first ball, which he slogged over mid-on for four.

The match only lasted another four overs, as in Burl’s next over Maxwell hit him for six and two fours off successive balls.

 

And when Ngarava replaced Burl, Maxwell smashed two successive sixes over square leg to end the match in a hurry.

Maxwell finished with 32 not out off only nine balls (three sixes, three fours), while Smith had an unbeaten 48 from 80 balls.

However, Green was the man to win the player of the match award for his fine bowling.

Ngarava had been Zimbabwe’s best bowler until Maxwell’s two sixes, which was not reflected in his figures of one for 26 off 5.3 overs.

Burl bowled with more success, but he paid for his three wickets with 60 runs in seven overs.

The second match in the series of three takes place at the same venue on Wednesday, 31 August.

 

Muzarabani back as Zimbabwe leave for Australia

Zimbabwe left for Australia on Tuesday morning with a squad of 15 players including the fit-again Blessing Muzarabani.

 

The fast bowler, who has fully recovered from a thigh muscle tear, is the only addition to the side that faced India in the just-ended one-day international (ODI) series in Harare, with Tanaka Chivanga and John Masara remaining at home among the non-travelling reserves.

 

Craig Ervine, Tendai Chatara, Wellington Masakadza and Milton Shumba are still sidelined by hamstring, collarbone fracture, shoulder tendon and quadricep injuries respectively.

 

In Ervine’s absence, Regis Chakabva will once again captain Zimbabwe in the three ODI matches against Australia scheduled for 28 and 31 August and 3 September in Townsville.

 

The games will be starting at 1:40 AM Zimbabwe time (9:40 AM Australia time).

 

The series is part of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League, a 13-team competition serving as the main route for direct qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 to be staged in India.

 

ZIMBABWE SQUAD FOR ODI SERIES VERSUS AUSTRALIA:

 

Burl Ryan, Chakabva Regis (captain), Evans Bradley, Jongwe Luke, Kaia Innocent, Kaitano Takudzwanashe, Madande Clive, Madhevere Wessly, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Munyonga Tony, Muzarabani Blessing, Ngarava Richard, Nyauchi Victor, Raza Sikandar, Williams Sean

 

ZIMBABWE IN AUSTRALIA – AUGUST-SEPTEMBER 2022:

 

DATE

MATCH

VENUE

START

Sunday, 28 August 2022

1st ODI

Townsville

1:40 AM

Wednesday, 31 August 2022

2nd ODI

Townsville

1:40 AM

Saturday, 3 September 2022

3rd ODI

Townsville

1:40 AM

Raza hits century, Evans claims five-for as Zimbabwe fall just short

India – 289-8 in 50 overs (Shubman Gill 130, Ishan Kishan 50, Shikhar Dhawan 40; Brad Evans 5/54, Victor Nyauchi 1/48, Luke Jongwe 1/49)

Zimbabwe – 276 all out in 49.3 overs (Sikandar Raza 115, Sean Williams 45, Brad Evans 28; Avesh Khan 3/66, Axar Patel 2/30, Kuldeep Yadav 2/38)

 

India won by 13 runs

Another wonderful innings by Sikandar Raza, who scored 115, and an excellent all-round performance from Brad Evans took Zimbabwe to the verge of victory against India in the third and final one-day international at Harare Sports Club today.

Unfortunately, with too few of the Zimbabwe players making significant contributions, the task proved too great in the end, and India secured victory in the final over by just 13 runs, with three balls to spare.

Zimbabwe made two changes to their team for this final match, bringing back Richard Ngarava and Tony Munyonga for Tanaka Chivanga and Wessly Madhevere.

For the third time in the series India won the toss, but this time they opted to bat first.

Shikhar Dhawan started the innings aggressively, hitting Ngarava for two fours in the opening over, and followed it with another boundary off Victor Nyauchi.

After that, however, as the bowlers tightened up, he and Lokesh Rahul played themselves in steadily.

They put on 63 runs before Rahul, who never quite looked in touch, played a ball from Evans into his stumps and was out for 30, scored off 46 balls.

Evans also picked up the wicket of Dhawan, who miscued a leg-side stroke off the leading edge and lobbed a catch to Sean Williams at cover – he scored 40 off 68 balls, out at 84 for two after 21 overs.

Shubman Gill was settling in nicely, but Ishan Kishan scored just a single off his first 12 deliveries.

However, once he had played himself in he started opening out in his twenties, and a major partnership developed with Gill, who reached his fifty off 51 balls and then began to plunder the bowling, fours flowing from both partners.

After 42 overs Kishan reached his fifty off 61 balls and the score was 224 for two.

At last the Zimbabweans began to strike back, and the stand was broken as a good return from Munyonga ran out Kishan for his 50 – their partnership had put on 140 in 21 overs.

Later in the over Evans bowled the new man, Deepak Hooda, for one as he tried to drive him.

In the next over, Gill completed an impressive maiden ODI century, scored off 82 balls.

Sanju Samson was now in with him and eager to make some big hits.

He lofted Luke Jongwe for two successive sixes, both powerful drives, but then miscued a leg-hit to be caught by Takudzwanashe Kaitano in the deep for 15, scored off 13 balls – 256 for five after 46 overs.

Axar Patel managed only a single before he drove a catch to Raza at long-off from the bowling of Nyauchi, and then the final over, from Evans, brought two wickets.

Off the first ball Gill’s magnificent innings of 130 came to an end, caught by Innocent Kaia at long-off after scoring 130 off only 97 balls, with a six and 15 fours.

Two balls later his new partner Shardul Thakur skyed a catch to Nyauchi at mid-off for nine, and then three good full deliveries restricted the two new batters, Deepak Chahar and Kuldeep Yadav, to just three runs.

The final score was 289 for eight, probably considerably less than India had been hoping for, and by no means an impossible target for Zimbabwe at their best.

Evans took the bowling honours with five wickets for 54, while Nyauchi and Jongwe both picked up a wicket.

Zimbabwe opened their innings with Kaitano and Kaia.

In the third over Kaia lofted Chahar for four over mid-on, but was beaten by a superb in-swinging yorker next ball, lbw for six with seven runs on the board.

Williams came in next, in the desire to have more experience at the top of the order, and he and Kaitano both took boundaries off the next over from Avesh Khan.

Williams then took on Chahar and hit him for two fine fours in his next over.

Kaitano joined in, and hit Khan for six over the leg boundary, falling over as he did so.

He then retired hurt with his score on 12 and the team 36 for one wicket.

Munyonga joined Williams, and for a while they batted well together, Munyonga at one stage hitting Hooda for two successive fours.

Williams reached 45 off 46 balls, but was then trapped lbw by Patel with the Zimbabwe score on 82.

This led to the unfortunate situation where two set batters fell almost together, as in the next over Munyonga (15) sliced a catch off Khan to mid-off – 84 for three in the 18th over.

Raza and Regis Chakabva had to start again from scratch, but with their experience they handled it well and soon runs were coming again, the team 100 being reached in the 22nd over.

They took the score to 120, but then Chakabva (16) gave a sharp return catch to Patel and four wickets were down.

At this point Kaitano returned, but did not last long as he was stumped for 13, at 122 for five.

Ryan Burl now joined Raza to attempt a partnership that was virtually Zimbabwe’s last hope of victory.

They began building their partnership, with Burl as he tends to do playing himself in before launching his assault.

This time it did not work out for him, though, as with eight to his account he leapt out to attack Chahar, only to send a catch to mid-on.

 

Zimbabwe were now 145 for six in the 33rd over, and their hopes now gone unless Raza could produce another miracle.

Jongwe fancied himself in the hero’s role, though, and in Chahar’s next over he slashed two successive balls for four and six.

In the following over, however, he was deceived by Yadav’s left-hander’s googly, which he edged to be caught at slip, having made 14 off 13 balls – 169 for seven in the 36th over.

Raza now found the partner he needed in Evans, who played a sensible innings, keeping his end up while scoring when he could.

Raza reached his 50 off 61 balls and then stepped up his assault, hitting Thakur for three successive fours, and the pair ran together superbly.

Raza hit Chahar for a brilliant six over extra cover to reach 97, and Zimbabwe needed 40 runs to win off the final four overs.

Raza reached his third century in the last six ODIs off 88 balls, but only seven runs came off that over from Thakur, leaving 33 needed off the last three.

After Evans took a single, Raza hit Khan for four and six, and then Evans hit another four.

However, off the last ball of that over Evans was given out lbw for a very gallant 28, scored off 36 balls, and Zimbabwe were 273 for eight – 17 runs needed off the last two overs in fading light.

But it was not to be for Zimbabwe, as Raza tried to hit Thakur for six over long-on, did not get quite enough elevation and Gill, running and diving full-length, held a brilliant catch to end a brilliant innings.

Raza was out for 115 off 95 balls, having hit three sixes and nine fours – Zimbabwe were 275 for nine with eight balls left.

It was too much to expect Ngarava and Nyauchi to score the winning runs, however well they batted in the final match against Bangladesh, and Khan ended the match with three balls to spare when he yorked Nyauchi without scoring.

 

Ngarava was not out with two and the total was 276.

Of the bowlers, Khan took three wickets for 66, while Chahar, Yadav and Patel took two each.

India have won the series by three victories to none, but at least this time Zimbabwe made them fight all the way.

 

ZC dedicates second ODI against India to childhood cancer

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has taken a step to support the battle against childhood cancer by dedicating Zimbabwe’s second one-day international (ODI) match against India, played at Harare Sports Club on Saturday, to the non-governmental organisation KidzCan Zimbabwe.

 

KidzCan Zimbabwe’s mandate includes providing chemotherapy drugs, bus fares, diagnostics, nutritional requirements and psychosocial support to children suffering from cancer in the country.

 

On the eve of the second ODI against India, Zimbabwe national team players Regis Chakabva, Sikandar Raza and Bradley Evans visited the children’s oncology ward at Parirenyatwa Hospital in Harare.

 

They donated hampers and toys to each of the 26 young cancer patients in the ward.

 

At the end of game on Saturday, ZC presented a framed playing shirt signed by the Zimbabwe squad to Kidzcan Zimbabwe Chairman Dave Mills, who was accompanied by seven-year-old eye cancer survivor Takunda Maguhu.

 

Takunda also received a signed cricket ball from the player of the match, India wicketkeeper-batter Sanju Samson, before he posed for pictures with Zimbabwe Captain Chakabva and his India counterpart KL Rahul.

 

“We are pleased to play a part in the battle against childhood cancer in Zimbabwe by dedicating our second ODI versus India to KidzCan Zimbabwe, with millions of people across the globe watching the match,” ZC Managing Director Givemore Makoni said.

 

“Apart from raising awareness on the plight of children with cancer in Zimbabwe, we hope our small gesture will prompt well-wishers to help in putting together the resources required in dealing with the challenges posed by childhood cancer in our country,” he added.

Commenting on the partnership with ZC, KidzCan Zimbabwe Executive Director Daniel McKenzie said: “The KidzCan family wishes to express their sincere gratitude to Zimbabwe Cricket for partnering us in our walk against childhood cancer, more so as it has come at an opportune time when we are preparing to celebrate the Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in September.

 

“We also appreciate the kind gesture of the tour at the ward at Parirenyatwa Hospital by members of the national team and the generous donation of goodies to our patients.”