Dave Houghton

Dave Houghton appointed ZC Coaching Manager

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is delighted to announce the appointment of cricket legend Dave Houghton as the organisation’s Coaching Manager.

 

Among his responsibilities in the newly created role, the 64-year-old will oversee the development and implementation of coaching programmes across all formats and levels as well as design and run special cricket camps, with the ultimate aim being to help coaches to get the best out of players.

 

Houghton will also take charge as head coach at first-class provincial side Mountaineers for the 2021/22 domestic season.

 

Before rejoining ZC now, he was the head of cricket at Derbyshire County Cricket Club in England from October 2018.

 

Zimbabwe’s first Test captain, Houghton is one of the best batsmen to emerge from this country.

 

He announced his arrival on the big stage with 121 in Zimbabwe’s inaugural Test, against India in Harare in 1992/93.

 

Houghton went on to hit 266 – Zimbabwe’s highest Test score to date – against Sri Lanka in Bulawayo in 1994/95.

 

His most memorable one-day international innings was against New Zealand at the 1987 World Cup, when he scored 142 runs off 137 deliveries with 13 fours and six sixes.

 

Having taken charge of Zimbabwe as a player-coach, since ending his playing career Houghton has gone on to become a successful coach and commentator.

 

He counts Tuskers and Southern Rocks at local level as well as Radlett Cricket Club and Derbyshire County Cricket Club in England among the sides he has coached, while he was also the batting coach at Somerset County Cricket Club and Middlesex County Cricket Club.

 

Houghton played an instrumental role in the establishment of the CFX Cricket Academy after he raised the initial capital for the project with a 22-day sponsored walk from Bulawayo to Harare in 1999.

 

Speaking after his latest appointment was confirmed, ZC Managing Director Givemore Makoni said: “We can count ourselves fortunate to have a legend of the game such as Dave joining us in a capacity that will add greater value to our coaching set-up and the game itself.

 

“He has a wealth of knowledge and skill in both coaching and administration and his passion, determination and hard work ethic will massively boost our efforts as we aim to continue improving and gaining success on the field of play.”

The brilliant Shumba finished with 66 not out off only 29 balls – he hit six sixes and two fours in the bowling his match-winning innings.

Shumba blasts Zimbabwe to sensational series victory

Scotland – 177-4 in 20 overs (George Munsey 54, Richie Berrington 44, Calum McLeod 39*; Luke Jongwe 2/32, Tendai Chatara 1/31, Richard Ngarava 1/40)

Zimbabwe – 180-4 in 19.1 overs (Milton Shumba 66*, Wessly Madhevere 43, Craig Ervine 25; Michael Leask 2/22, Alasdair Evans 1/39)

 

Zimbabwe won by six wickets

 

Zimbabwe’s brilliant young pair of Milton Shumba and Wessly Madhevere turned the final Twenty20 international (T20I) match against Scotland on its head in the final half-hour, snatching a brilliant victory from what had appeared to be certain defeat at Edinburgh on Sunday.

 

They came together when the tourists had lost their only three experienced batsmen for 63 chasing an imposing target of 178, and needing another 115 runs to win in 10 overs and four balls.

 

It looked an impossible situation, but the pair played their strokes wisely and so well that soon they were masters of a hitherto dominant bowling attack.

 

Not long afterwards they were hitting one six after another as the bowling went to pieces.

 

Unfortunately, Madhevere was run out after a superb 43, but Shumba stayed for a truly great innings of 66 not out until Zimbabwe had, against all earlier expectations, won an amazing victory by six wickets with five balls to spare.

 

There was rain this morning in Edinburgh, but the match was able to start almost on time, Scotland having won the toss and decided to bat.

 

Tendai Chatara and Richard Ngarava opened the bowling to George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer.

 

Both bowlers hit the spot from the start and the batsmen found nothing loose to help them.

 

Muzarabani bowled the third over, and Munsey was able to hit fours off his last two deliveries.

 

Coetzer slogged Ngarava for four, but when he tried to do it again he skyed a catch that was held by Regis Chakabva behind the stumps – he made six and the first wicket fell at 18.

 

However, Munsey now found his most brilliant form, hitting out at everything, and he hit Luke Jongwe for 22 in his first over, including two sixes and two fours.

 

He reached a brilliant fifty off 28 balls in the eighth over, as he hit Madhevere for a four and six in succession.

 

Jongwe bowled again and picked up the wicket of Ollie Hairs for eight, brilliantly caught by Chakabva who ran back to hold a skyer that was falling far behind him; 72 for two in the ninth over.

 

Four balls later Munsey went quite easily, as he pulled a catch straight to Craig Ervine at backward square leg – he scored 54 off 30 balls and Scotland were 77 for three in the ninth over.

 

Richie Berrington was dropped twice in one over from Sean Williams, as Zimbabwe failed to press home their advantage.

 

This allowed a major partnership to develop between Berrington and Calum McLeod, which put on 70 in 10 overs before Berrington in the 19th over was caught on the boundary by Williams for 44 off 39 balls; 147 for four.

 

As a final blow to Zimbabwe, Ngarava, having bowled so well earlier and throughout the series, had a tough final over, giving away 30 runs, including three sixes and two no-balls.

 

This enabled Scotland to total 177 for four wickets, McLeod with 39 off 29 balls and Michael Leask 17 off five balls being the not-out batsmen.

 

Jongwe took two wickets for 32 runs, but Zimbabwe’s most economical bowler, Williams, was only given two overs, off which he conceded eight runs.

 

When Zimbabwe began their reply, Ervine went in first himself with Chakabva, and the two made a good brisk start, with Chakabva pulling a ball from Chris Sole over the square-leg boundary for six.

 

They handled the situation very well, bringing up the fifty in the seventh over without loss.

 

At 60 in the eighth over Chakabva (25) was bowled by a ball from Leask that skidded straight through as he tried to hit it across the line.

 

Two balls later Ervine also fell, bowled by Alasdair Evans for 25, and Zimbabwe were 60 for two.

 

Williams scored only a single before he tried a reverse sweep and was bowled by Leask.

 

Madhevere and Shumba settled in and batted well, but Zimbabwe fell increasingly behind the required run rate.

 

The team 100 came up in the 14th over, but the required run rate was well over 10 now.

 

Zimbabwe got new hope when Evans came on to bowl his final over, as Shumba hit his first three balls for six, two pulls and one drive over long-on.

 

After a single, Madhevere hit the next ball, a low full toss, over midwicket for six, and 25 runs came off the over.

 

Zimbabwe now needed 31 runs off the final three overs.

 

A single by Shumba brought him his first T20I fifty off only 22 balls.

 

Safyaan Sharif, Scotland’s star death bowler, now came on to bowl two of the final three overs.

 

But his first of these was not up his usual immaculate standard, and low full tosses were hit by Madhevere for four and Shumba for six.

 

Seventeen were needed off the final two overs, with Sole to bowl next.

 

Off the first ball the batsmen went for a risky two, only for Madhevere to be run out for 43, scored off 34 balls.

 

The pair had put on 99 for the fourth wicket in nine overs.

 

Ryan Burl helped Shumba to keep the bowling, and the batsmen hit two more boundaries, making 15 runs off the over, and Zimbabwe needing just two runs for victory.

 

It took only one delivery for Burl to hit another full toss to the boundary for four to win the match with five balls to spare.

 

The brilliant Shumba finished with 66 not out off only 29 balls – he hit six sixes and two fours in the bowling his match-winning innings.

 

The onslaught of Shumba and Madhevere completely shattered the Scottish bowling attack, which virtually went to pieces.

 

Zimbabwe therefore won the three-match series by two victories to one.

 

It will indeed be remembered as one of the nation’s finest victories, achieved as it was by two outstanding young batsmen whose average age works out at not quite 21, beacons of light for Zimbabwe’s cricketing future.

Williams finished unbeaten with 60, scored off 52 balls with five fours and a six

Zimbabwe beat Scotland to level T20I series

Zimbabwe – 136-6 in 20 overs (Sean Williams 60*, Craig Ervine 30, Ryan Burl 13*; Gavin Main 1/17, Michael Leask 1/23, Mark Watt 1/23)

Scotland – 126 all out in 19.4 overs (Matthew Cross 42, Richie Berrington 42, Michael Leask 25; Richard Ngarava 2/13, Wellington Masakadza 2/19, Tendai Chatara 2/28)

 

Zimbabwe won by 10 runs

 

Zimbabwe claimed four wickets in four deliveries in the final over to hand Scotland a 10-run defeat in the second Twenty20 international (T20I) match in Edinburgh on Friday.

 

The hosts had appeared in charge, requiring 27 runs from 18 deliveries with five wickets in hand for victory, but suffered a spectacular collapse in a dramatic finish to the game.

 

The series is now level at one-all going into Sunday’s decider at The Grange.

 

Zimbabwe decided to bat on winning the toss, but were soon in trouble.

 

In the second over, Innocent Kaia, making his T20I début, was caught at the wicket by Matthews Cross off Alasdair Evans for seven, immediately after hitting him for four.

 

Two more wickets fell in the third over, as his opening partner Regis Chakabva was caught off Mark Watt for eight, and then Wessly Madhevere was run out by Kyle Coetzer without facing a ball, to leave Zimbabwe reeling at 20 for three.

 

This brought the experienced pair of Craig Ervine and Sean Williams together, and they fought hard to pull Zimbabwe out of the sticky situation.

 

They had to take particular care and keep up a reasonable scoring rate at the same time, but they did this well and after 10 overs had taken the score to 59 for three.

 

The pair took the score to 91 in the 15th over when, after a partnership of 71, Ervine went for 30, caught by Coetzer off Michael Leask.

 

Milton Shumba was caught off Gavin Main for one, but Williams brought up the team 100 in the 17th over and then hit Leask for six.

 

He and Ryan Burl ran desperately between the wickets in their attempt to give Zimbabwe a reasonable score, and Williams reached his invaluable fifty off 46 balls.

 

Both batsmen hit fours in the penultimate over off Evans, and eight runs came off the final over from Safyaan Sharif, giving Zimbabwe a total of 136 for five after their 20 overs.

 

Williams finished unbeaten with 60, scored off 52 balls with five fours and a six, while Burl had 13 not out.

 

Four bowlers took a wicket each.

 

As in the first match, Sharif was the most economical, conceding only 21 runs off his four overs, although this time he took no wickets.

 

Scotland made a flying start to their reply, with Tendai Chatara going for 11 runs in the first over, including a six by George Munsey.

 

Then a superb over from Richard Ngarava gave Zimbabwe a quick advantage.

 

With his second delivery he had Coetzer caught by Kaia for two, and the new man, Ollie Hairs, was caught by Burl off his next ball; 11 for two.

 

Then Chatara struck back in his next over, having Munsey caught by Kaia for nine, before Burl took another catch to remove Calum MacLeod without scoring; 16 for four.

 

But the in-form Richie Berrington was still in, now joined by Matthew Cross.

 

The pair had to fight hard for their runs and after 10 overs the score was only 48 for four.

 

But they were now beginning to hit more confidently, and 19 came off the 11th over, bowled by Burl – Cross hit him for six and four, while Berrington finished the over with another six.

 

At 91, in the 15th over, Zimbabwe finally took the wicket of Berrington, caught by Madhevere off Williams for 42, scored off 43 balls.

 

They had put on 75 together in exactly 10 overs, and had turned the match around, because after 15 overs Scotland needed only another 39 runs to win.

 

Luke Jongwe bowled a good over that conceded only four runs, while Chatara gave away eight.

 

Then Jongwe took the vital wicket of Cross, who also made 42, scored off 35 balls, and with the score 110 for six in the 18th over, Zimbabwe had a chance of victory again.

 

Later in the over, however, Leask hit him for six, which left 17 to win off the final two overs.

 

Ngarava bowled finely to concede only four runs, which left Scotland to score 13 in the final over, bowled by Wellington Masakadza.

 

With his first ball Masakadza had Sharif caught for two, Burl taking his third catch of the innings.

 

The batsmen crossed, and off the next delivery Leask went for a risky two to keep the bowling, but managed to get his partner, Watt, run out.

 

Off the following delivery Leask was caught by Williams, which gave three wickets in three balls — but it was no hat-trick, as the second one was a run-out and not the bowler’s wicket.

 

It became four in four, as another desperate attempt at a run saw Main also run out without facing a ball, and Evans was left not out with one.

 

Scotland were all out for 126 with two deliveries left unbowled, and Zimbabwe had won the match and levelled the series by 10 runs.

 

Chatara, Ngarava and Masakadza all took two wickets in the innings, with Ngarava’s two for only 13 runs off his four overs being the best.

Milton Shumba’s valiant effort with the bat went in vain as Zimbabwe fell at the hands of Scotland

Shumba’s valiant effort goes in vain as Zimbabwe fall short

Scotland – 141-6 in 20 overs (Richie Berrington 82*, Matthew Cross 14, Michael Leask 11; Tendai Chatara 2/23, Luke Jongwe 2/28, Richard Ngarava 1/20)

Zimbabwe – 134-9 in 24 overs (Milton Shumba 45*, Sean Williams 28, Craig Ervine 26; Safyaan Sharif 4/24, Mark Watt 1/17, Ollie Hairs 1/19)

 

Scotland won by seven runs

 

Milton Shumba’s valiant effort with the bat went in vain as Zimbabwe fell at the hands of Scotland by seven runs in the first of their three Twenty20 international (T20I) matches in Edinburgh on Wednesday.

 

Although he top-scored for his side with an unbeaten 45, including five fours and a single six, off 30 balls, the 20-year-old batsman could not take the tourists, chasing a target of 142, across the line.

 

Instead, it was Scotland veteran Richie Berrington’s brilliant 82 not out that ultimately decided the match.

 

The venue for this series is the Grange Cricket Club ground at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh, and in this the first match the hosts won the toss and decided to bat.

 

They were soon in trouble, as Wellington Masakadza, bowling the first over, trapped George Munsey lbw for one.

 

Tendai Chatara followed this up by bowling out Kyle Coetzer, the captain and one of Scotland’s most experience batsmen, for two with his very first delivery, and Scotland found themselves at nine for two wickets.

 

It then became three wickets in three overs, as Richard Ngarava went on and had Ollie Hairs caught by Craig Ervine for five with only 17 runs on the board.

 

Berrington was then joined by Calum MacLeod, and they put on 13 together before Chatara bowled MacLeod for six, at 30 for four in the sixth over.

 

However, Zimbabwe ran into tougher resistance when Berrington settled in, and he was joined by Matthew Cross.

 

They took the score to 75 in the 13th over before Luke Jongwe had Cross caught by Sean Williams for 14.

 

In the following over, Berrington brought up his fifty, off 40 balls, with a six off Williams.

 

Michael Leask played a good supporting role for a while, scoring 11 before he was caught by Masakadza off Jongwe, with the score 111 for six in the 17th over.

 

Safyaan Sharif then stayed with Berrington until the close of the innings, scoring nine not out.

 

The final total was 141 for six wickets.

 

Of that, Berrington scored 82 not out off 61 balls in his magnificent innings, which contained three sixes and seven fours.

 

Their next highest scorer made only 14.

 

For Zimbabwe, Chatara and Jongwe took two wickets each, while Masakadza and Ngarava had one apiece.

 

Zimbabwe almost matched Ireland for a bad start to their innings.

 

Off the very first ball, Wessly Madhevere edged a ball from Sharif to the wicketkeeper, Cross.

 

Sharif struck again in his next over, when the other opener, Tadiwanashe Marumani, was caught for three, and Zimbabwe were five for two wickets.

 

The experienced Regis Chakabva and Craig Ervine now had to repair the damage, which they did by concentrating on scoring singles, while hitting the loose balls for four.

 

They took the score to 53 in the ninth over when Chakabva was dismissed lbw to Mark Watt for 17.

 

At 58 Ervine followed him back to the pavilion for 26, caught by Munsey off Hairs, and Zimbabwe now were looking shaky.

 

Williams was now joined by Shumba, who announced himself by hitting his first ball for four.

 

They put on 54 together in six overs and eventually Williams was caught off Evans for 28 in the 17th over.

 

Thirty runs were needed off the last three overs.

 

Shumba hit Sharif for six, but lost Ryan Burl, bowled for one, and 20 were now needed in two overs.

 

Chris Sole bowled the next over and dismissed Jongwe for two, which virtually left all Zimbabwe’s hopes resting on the shoulders of Shumba.

 

Fifteen runs were needed off the final over, delivered by Sharif.

 

Shumba began with a four, took a bye and then saw Masakadza bowled for one, leaving 10 needed off the final three deliveries, and Chatara to face.

 

Chatara was run out next ball giving Shumba the strike and the need to score 10 runs off the final two deliveries to win the match for Zimbabwe.

 

However, he could nothing with the next ball, and scored only a single from the final delivery, leaving the score at 134 for nine and a victory for Scotland by even runs.

 

Sharif was the star bowler for Scotland with four wickets for 24 runs, but it was Berrington’s outstanding innings that won the match.

 

Scotland and Zimbabwe will meet in the second T20I game at the same venue on Friday.

So Ireland levelled the series at one match to each side.

Zimbabwe go down to Ireland in rain-hit final ODI as series ends level

Zimbabwe – 131 all out in 34 overs (Craig Ervine 57, Wessly Madhevere 16, Luke Jongwe 10; Andy McBrine 3/26, Josh Little 3/33, Simi Singh 2/35)

Ireland – 118-3 in 22.2 overs (Paul Stirling 43, Andy Balbirnie 34, William Porterfield 16; Wellington Masakadza 1/9, Blessing Muzarabani 1/13, Richard Ngarava 1/33)

 

Ireland won by seven wickets (DLS method)

 

Zimbabwe went down to Ireland by seven wickets in a rain-affected final one-day international at Stormont on Monday as the three-match series ended level at one-all.

 

Rain and a damp outfield delayed the start by over an hour, resulting in the match being reduced to 42 overs per side.

 

Ireland won the toss and put Zimbabwe in to bat.

 

Brendan Taylor, opening the innings with Regis Chakabva, scored seven runs off 12 balls, including a thick edge past the slips for four, before he took a big slog at a good ball from Josh Little and was bowled middle stump to leave the tourists at 11 for one in the fourth over.

 

In his next over, Little also accounted for Chakabva, who was bowled for five to reduce Zimbabwe to 15 for two.

 

Craig Ervine and Wessly Madhevere handled the situation calmly, playing themselves in and gradually opening up as they put on a partnership worth 59.

 

Madhevere had 16 when he tried a lofted drive but miscued it to be caught at mid-on for 16, with the total now 74 for three in the 16th over.

 

Sean Williams could not get going and, at 83, he became the fourth wicket to fall when Andy McBrine bowled him out for four in the 19th over.

 

A few balls later Ervine hammered a long hop from Little through the covers for four to reach his fifty off only 51 deliveries.

 

McBrine and Simi Singh then produced a fine spell of bowling, backed by tight fielding, and both Ervine and Sikandar Raza found it difficult to keep the score moving.

 

It resulted in the wicket of Ervine, caught at the wicket off McBrine for 57, scored off 65 balls with seven fours and a six.

 

Zimbabwe were now struggling at 99 for five in the 25th over.

 

It was a most untimely dismissal, as only three more balls had been bowled, with Ryan Burl in, when the rain returned and the players had to leave the field.

 

When play restarted, about half an hour had been lost and the match was further reduced to 38 overs aside.

 

At 106 a brilliant stop by Andy Balbirnie caused a mix-up between the batsmen in mid-pitch, and Raza was run out for nine.

 

Burl was then bowled for five and Luke Jongwe, after hitting McBrine for two successive fours, was trapped lbw for 10.

 

Blessing Muzarabani did not score before he edged a catch to the keeper off Little, the score now 121 for nine wickets in the 30th over.

 

Wellington Masakadza (7 not out) and Richard Ngarava (3) held on as long as they could, but eventually Ngarava was bowled by Singh.

 

Zimbabwe were all out for a total of just 131 runs off 34 overs, with only Ervine and Madhevere scoring more than 10.

 

McBrine and Little took three wickets each, for 26 and 33 runs respectively, while Singh took two and Shane Getkate one.

 

Between the innings there was further rain and another delay, and when the players finally took the field again Ireland’s target had been adjusted to 126 off 35 overs.

 

William Porterfield and Paul Stirling made a cautious start, but once they had settled in they went on to the attack.

 

At 36 there was yet another rain delay, resulting in the target being again revised to 118 from 32 overs.

 

The batsmen took their partnership to 48 in the 10th over, when Porterfield (16), attempting to ramp a ball from Muzarabani, edged it to the keeper.

 

With Ireland on 89, Stirling mistimed a pull off Ngarava and was caught by Muzarabani at midwicket, having scored 43 off 40 balls, with two sixes and five fours.

 

Balbirnie began to increase the pace and the 100 went up in the following over.

 

He took his team close to victory, but at 113 he chipped a ball from Masakadza to Ervine at extra cover and was out for 34.

 

In the following over, though, Harry Tector (13 not out) hit Burl for a four and a single to complete a seven-wicket victory, with almost 10 overs to spare.

 

So Ireland levelled the series at one match to each side.

 

Zimbabwe won the opener but the second game was washed out.

 

Zimbabwe now head to Scotland for three Twenty20 internationals, starting on Wednesday.

Just when Zimbabwe were about to come out to bat, there was a heavy downfall of rain.

Zimbabwe, Ireland share points after rain washes out second ODI

Ireland – 282-8 in 50 overs (William Porterfield 67, Harry Tector 55, Andy Barlbirnie 40; Richard Ngarava 3/52, Sean Williams 1/29, Blessing Muzarabani 1/55)

Zimbabwe – did not bat

 

No result

 

Zimbabwe and Ireland had to settle for a share of the spoils after the second of their three one-day international matches at Stormont was abandoned due to a heavy downpour on Friday.

 

The hosts compiled a total of 282 for eight wickets in their 50 overs, but during the interval the skies opened up and the match could not be continued.

 

The series is part of the ICC Men’s World Cup Super League and, following the abandonment, both teams will be awarded five points each.

 

Zimbabwe won the first match by 38 runs on Wednesday, with the final ODI scheduled for Monday.

 

Despite their success in the series opener when they batted first, the tourists won the toss and opted to field in Friday’s game, with Milton Shumba coming in for Dion Myers to make his debut in this format.

 

The Ireland innings opened with Paul Stirling and William Porterfield against the bowling of Blessing Muzarabani and Richard Ngarava – the usual pairings.

 

The bowling was so good that only 17 runs came off the first five overs.

 

Porterfield decided he had to do something about this and drove Ngarava for two fours in the sixth over, and another two in the eighth.

 

Stirling took rather longer to get settled, but the pair brought up the team fifty in the 11th over.

 

After the powerplay was over, the pair settled down to a steady game of working the ball around the field for ones and twos, with the occasional boundary off loose balls.

 

They put on 87 until, in the 23rd over, Stirling (33) clipped a ball from Sean Williams to midwicket where Sikandar Raza dived to his left and held a fine catch.

 

Andy Balbirnie, in next, was soon scoring fluently and the team hundred came up in the 28th over.

 

The two batsmen put on 69 for the second wicket in 12 overs, before Balbirnie pulled a short ball from Ngarava, to be well caught low down by Brendan Taylor at fine leg – he scored 40 off 43 balls and the score was 151 for two.

 

One wicket brought another, as in his next over Ngarava moved a ball away off the pitch to Porterfield (67), who edged a catch to the keeper, reducing Ireland to 153 for three in the 37th over.

 

Harry Tector and George Dockrell were now in together and they put on 48 in six overs before Dockrell miscued a pull off Muzarabani, to be caught on the square-leg boundary for 28 off 19 balls; 201 for four in the 43rd over.

 

With Lorcan Tucker in the run-scoring became even faster, Tector reaching his fifty off only 39 balls.

 

He was finally out for 55, when he top-edged a pull off Ngarava, who took the return catch; 267 for five in the 49th over.

 

Jongwe, bowling the final over, had Tucker caught on the midwicket boundary for 32.

 

Simi Singh was run out by Wessly Madhevere for one, and Andy McBrine was run out after hitting his first ball for six.

 

So three wickets fell and 14 runs were scored, giving Ireland the handsome total of 282 for eight wickets.

 

Ngarava was the pick of the bowlers, ending with three wickets for 52 runs.

 

Just when Zimbabwe were about to come out to bat, there was a heavy downfall of rain.

 

When it stopped the outfield was very damp, and despite all efforts to mop up and continue the match perhaps under Duckworth-Lewis regulations, the match eventually had to be abandoned with no result

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani

Zimbabwe Cricket holds virtual AGM

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) held its annual general meeting (AGM) virtually on Thursday, due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions.

 

During the AGM, the delegates adopted the audited financial statements for the year ending 31 December 2020.

 

The accounts for the period under review were audited, for the first time, by the world’s leading audit firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and once again ZC received a clean audit opinion.

 

ZC Chairman Tavengwa Mukuhlani welcomed the report and congratulated the organisation for attaining the clean audit.

 

“Congratulations for a job well done. To get a clean audit from PwC is a great achievement,” he told delegates to the AGM.

 

Reflecting on the 2020/21 season, Mr Mukuhlani said he was proud of the way in which ZC had, in the face of challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, managed to successfully host both international and domestic cricket tournaments.

 

“The 2020/21 season did not start out like any of us planned and it was hard on us as a sport and our people, who have a genuine love for our game and what it means to Zimbabwe,” he noted in the chairman’s report for the period under review.

 

“With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc across the globe, our work was clearly cut out from the onset.

 

“On the one hand, we totally understood and supported the pandemic lockdown restrictions, including bans on sporting activities, imposed by the Government in a bid to curb the spread of the virus, while on the other we were desperate to maintain ZC’s viability and, more importantly, to save the game itself from going under.”

 

Mr Mukuhlani noted that ZC became the first sporting organisation in Zimbabwe to implement the bio-secure bubble concept.

 

“With that in place . . . the 2020/21 season saw us successfully hosting all our major domestic competitions as well as incoming tours by the Pakistan Senior Women’s National Team, Pakistan Senior Men’s National Team, South Africa Emerging Women’s Team and South Africa ‘A’ Team, while the Zimbabwe Senior Men’s National Team toured Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.

 

“It is important to note that with over 2 500 PCR tests carried out, no positive COVID-19 cases were reported within our bio-secure bubbles during the period under review.

 

“To this end, I would like to thank all those across the system for the commitment and dedication you have shown to keeping our game alive and well in these unprecedented and uncertain times.

 

“Allow me to also place on record my appreciation for the incredible support and guidance that we received from the Government and the Sports and Recreation Commission.”

 

Delegates to the online AGM included members of the ZC Board of Directors and representatives of all the 10 provinces affiliated to the organisation.

Muzarabani’s fine opening spell was only rewarded late in the innings, when he crushed the Ireland run chase and finished with four wickets for 29 runs.

Zimbabwe defeat Ireland to get Super League series off to a flyer

Zimbabwe – 266-7 in 50 overs (Craig Ervine 64, Sikandar Raza 59*, Brendan Taylor 49; Simi Singh 1/22, George Dockrell 1/23, Andy McBrine 1/26)

Ireland – 228 all out in 48.4 overs (Ian Porterfield 75, Harry Tector 50, Paul Stirling 32; Blessing Muzarabani 4/29, Wellington Masakadza 2/40, Sean Williams 2/42)

 

Zimbabwe won by 38 runs

 

Zimbabwe stormed to a 38-run victory over Ireland in the first game of the ICC Men’s World Cup Super League series at Stormont on Wednesday, thanks to a collective effort with bat and ball.

 

First, fifties from Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza lifted the tourists to a competitive total, before Blessing Muzarabani and Wellington Masakadza bowled superbly to stifle the chase.

 

Early rain delayed the start for half an hour and left the conditions damp, so both captains wanted to field first, but this time Ireland won the toss and sent Zimbabwe in to bat.

The visitors opened their batting with an experienced pair of Brendan Taylor and Regis Chakabva.

Chakabva scored only two before he edged a very good delivery from Craig Young to second slip and the first wicket went down at 14.

The Irish bowlers produced some good deliveries, but Taylor and Craig Ervine scored well off anything loose and moved the score along quite rapidly.

When he had 24, Taylor was given out caught at the wicket off Josh Little, but fortunately the DRS system is in use for this series on review it was seen that the ball hit his pad and not his bat.

 

The score reached 85 off only 14 overs when Sami Singh came on to bowl – Taylor swept his first delivery to be caught at deep square leg for 49.

 

The new batsmen did not find it easy, as Dion Myers made seven off 20 balls before he top-edged a sweep off Andy McBrine to be caught at the wicket; 101 for three after 20 overs.

Sean Williams had similar challenges until he finally got hold of Singh to hit him for two successive fours.

Ervine and Williams took the score to 150 in the 37th over, Ervine reaching his fifty off 83 balls, before Williams on 33 tried to hit a ball from Little to leg and was bowled.

Sikandar Raza soon got his innings underway with two fours and a leg-side six off George Dockrell.

Just as a good partnership seemed to be developing, Dockrell took the wicket of Ervine for 64, as he slashed a ball into the covers and was caught; 182 for five in the 42nd over.

Wessly Madhevere found his touch right away, and he and Raza were soon scoring off almost every ball.

Another promising partnership did not fully develop, though, as Madhevere (19 off 17 balls) drove a catch off Mark Adair to long-off; 226 for six in the 47th over.

Luke Jongwe hit his first ball for four and Raza reached his fifty in grand style off only 38 balls, hitting Adair for six over long-on.

Between them they plundered 40 runs off 19 balls before Jongwe was run out for 18 off only nine balls as he attempted a second run off the last ball of the innings.

Raza was unbeaten with 59 off 44 balls, with two sixes and five fours, and the Zimbabwe total was 266 for seven wickets after 50 overs.

Remarkably, of the Irish bowlers all six used took one wicket each.

The spinners Singh and McBrine did the best work, though, bowling 10 overs each and conceding only 22 and 26 runs respectively.

For Ireland, William Porterfield and Paul Stirling opened the batting against the bowling of Muzarabani and Richard Ngarava.

They scored 17 off the first three overs, but then the bowlers tightened up well and, backed by excellent fielding, made the batsmen struggle to score.

After eight overs the score was only 23.

Stirling in particular tried to push the score along, and he hit Jongwe for six over long-on, but then he fatally missed a sweep against Masakadza and was given out plumb lbw for 32; 64 for one in the 16th over.

Porterfield and Andy Balbirnie batted well together, moving the score along steadily, but at 89, in the 22nd over, Madhevere broke through with a beautiful delivery that spun in between Balbirnie’s bat and pad to clip his off stump when he had made 12.

Porterfield continued on his steady way and brought up his fifty off 79 balls.

Harry Tector was now his partner, and a dangerous partnership began to develop, both batting well.

Then Porterfield fatally miscued a pull off Jongwe and was caught at the second attempt by Myers at fine leg – he had made 75 off 110 balls, and Ireland were 167 for three in the 36th over.

Dockrell scored a brisk 11 before he swished at a stray ball outside his off stump from Muzarabani.

 

Zimbabwe’s appeal was turned down by the umpire, but their review revealed a thin edge, so the fourth wicket fell at 187 in the 38th over.

Two overs later Muzarabani struck again, as Singh (3) was caught by Madhevere at cover off a leading edge; 195 for five after 41 overs.

Ireland were now in some trouble, needing eight an over with five wickets left, and Tector on 46 was their key man.

Tector soon reached his 50 off 53 deliveries, but then Williams struck a great blow for Zimbabwe as Tector top-edged a slog-sweep to be caught by Muzarabani at short third man; 202 for six after 43 overs, and the required run rate now well over nine.

McBrine soon went for two, caught at the wicket off Williams – another appeal turned down by the umpire, but given out on referral; 206 for seven in the 45th over.

At 218 Muzarabani struck again, as Adair (6) skyed a catch to Ngarava, and in the following over Lorcan Tucker (14) drove a catch to Williams in the deep off Masakadza; 224 for nine.

The final wicket came in the next over, the 49th, when Little was caught by Ervine off Muzarabani for four, leaving Young not out with two.

Muzarabani’s fine opening spell was only rewarded late in the innings, when he crushed the Ireland run chase and finished with four wickets for 29 runs.

 

Masakadza and Williams finished with two wickets each.

Zimbabwe therefore go one-nil up in the three-match series.

Jongwe and Tiripano finished with three wickets apiece, conceding 29 and 31 runs respectively, while Ngarava again showed his skill as a death bowler as his four overs cost only 14 runs for one wicket.

Zimbabwe edge Ireland in thriller to end T20I series on a high

Zimbabwe – 124-4 in 20 overs (Craig Ervine 67*, Dion Myers 26, Milton Shumba 14*; Mark Adair 3/23, Josh Little 1/16) 

Ireland – 119 all out in 20 overs (Neil Rock 22, Paul Stirling 19, Shane Getkate 15; Luke Jongwe 3/29, Donald Tiripano 3/31, Richard Ngarava 1/14)

 

Zimbabwe won by five runs

 

Luke Jongwe and Donald Tiripano had a great day with the ball as Zimbabwe clinched a five-run victory over Ireland in the fifth and final T20I that went all the way to the final delivery at Bready on Saturday.

 

The tourists again won the toss and this time round decided to bat first, with Tinashe Kamunhukamwe replacing Tadiwanashe Marumani as opening batsman, along with Wessly Madhevere on his 21st birthday.

 

Kamunhukamwe did not last long, though, as in the second over he was brilliantly caught at short cover by Andy Balbirnie off the bowling of Mark Adair.

 

Off the next delivery Regis Chakabva was trapped lbw by Adair and Zimbabwe were three for two wickets in the second over.

 

Craig Ervine then set about retrieving the situation with Madhevere, and when Shane Getkate came on to bowl he hit him for a straight four and a six over midwicket off successive deliveries.

 

However, Madhevere fell for nine, as he tried to pull Josh Little but skyed a catch to midwicket, making the score 34 for three after seven overs.

 

Dion Myers came in and soon pulled Andy McBrine for a big six over midwicket.

 

After 10 overs the score was 51 for three wickets.

 

The pair did a fine job to restore the innings, and Ervine reached his fifty in the 15th over off 42 balls.

 

In the following over, however, Myers miscued a slog-sweep off Adair to be brilliantly caught by Little for 26, scored off 23 balls – the score was now 91 for four.

 

Milton Shumba now came in and the new pairing tried to add runs quickly, but they could only manage ones and twos, with an occasional four.

 

After 20 overs the score was 124 for four wickets, with Shumba on 14 and Ervine, who played a fine rescue innings, 67 off 57 balls – he hit a six and seven fours.

 

Adair was again the best of the Irish bowlers, with three wickets for 23 runs off his four overs, while Little was the most economical, with figures of one for 16.

 

Blessing Muzarabani and Richard Ngarava opened the bowling for Zimbabwe against the usual pairing of Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien.

 

Stirling was soon underway, pulling Jongwe’s first ball for six over square leg when he came on to bowl the third over.

 

However, later in the over Jongwe produced a fine ball that bowled O’Brien for seven to make the score 17 for one.

 

Tiripano came on for the fourth over and he struck by moving a ball away off the pitch for Balbirnie to edge to the keeper for four.

 

The fifth over from Jongwe brought two successive fours to Stirling, but the following delivery he drove to be caught by Shumba at extra cover for 19, to make Ireland 30 for three wickets.

 

Without addition, Harry Tector (0) edged a ball from Tiripano to slip and Ireland were in trouble at 30 for four wickets.

 

William McClintock came in and hit two successive fours to get the score moving again.

 

However, he had scored only nine before he miscued a shot off Ngarava to point, where Madhevere took the catch; 51 for five in the eighth over.

 

Neil Rock and Getkate came to the rescue with some judicious batting, and Ireland pulled ahead again.

 

They put on 36 together before Wellington Masakadza trapped Getkate lbw for 15, at 87 for six.

 

Then Jongwe returned to pick up his third wicket, as Rock miscued a pull and was caught by the substitute fielder Marumani at deep square leg for the highest score of 22 and Ireland were now 91 for seven in the 14th over.

 

McBrine and Adair were now in, and played with great caution, trying to score mainly in singles, until 23 runs were needed off the last three overs.

 

Two singles were added in three balls off Tiripano, until McBrine, feeling the pressure, attempted a big hit but holed out to Marumani at deep square leg for eight; 104 for eight.

 

Four runs and a wicket came off the over, leaving Ireland needing 19 runs off the last two overs with only two wickets in hand.

 

Off the first ball of the next over, from Jongwe, Adair was too eager for a quick single and was run out for eight by the bowler, making the score 106 for nine.

 

Craig Young, after two dot balls, took his life in his hands and hit a straight six.

 

He then hit two twos, leaving Ireland needing nine runs off the final over and Zimbabwe one wicket.

 

Ngarava bowled the final over: Little scored two off the second ball, followed by a single off the fourth.

 

Six runs needed off the final two deliveries: Young missed them both, and in attempting a single for a leg-bye off the last ball, Little was run out for three by Ngarava, leaving Young not out with 11, Ireland all out for 119 and Zimbabwe winners by five runs.

 

Jongwe and Tiripano finished with three wickets apiece, conceding 29 and 31 runs respectively, while Ngarava again showed his skill as a death bowler as his four overs cost only 14 runs for one wicket.

 

The fine victory was some compensation for Zimbabwe, who lost the series by three wins to two.

The most successful bowler was Masakadza, who took two for 22 off his four overs, while Ngarava and Jongwe took a wicket each.

Zimbabwe go down as Ireland secure T20I series victory

Ireland – 174-4 in 20 overs (Kevin O’Brien 47, Paul Stirling 39, Andy Balbirnie 36; Wellington Masakadza 2/22, Richard Ngarava 1/25, Luke Jongwe 1/28)

Zimbabwe – 110-9 in 20 overs (Craig Ervine 28, Luke Jongwe 24*, Richard Ngarava 11*; Mark Adair 4/23, Shane Getkate 2/19, Simi Singh 1/18)

 

Ireland won by 64 runs

 

Zimbabwe went down to Ireland by 64 runs in the fourth T20I at Bready on Thursday.

 

The tourists again won the toss and again decided to bowl first.

 

They made two changes to their playing personnel, bringing in Blessing Muzarabani for Tendai Chatara, while Donald Tiripano was a last-minute replacement for Ryan Burl who sprained his ankle when he stepped on the rope during a warm-up routine.

 

Ireland’s regular opening pair of Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien were again in fine form, and after five overs the hosts had scored 44 without loss.

 

After 10 overs, Ireland were 89 for no wicket, but then with the first ball of the 11th, bowled by Wellington Masakadza, O’Brien was well caught low down by Milton Shumba at long-off for 47.

 

He faced 39 balls and hit a six and six fours.

 

The team 100 came up after 12 overs.

 

Andy Balbirnie played himself in for a few balls before opening out to hit Wessly Madhevere for 12 runs off three balls, but then Stirling went, skying a catch to extra cover off Masakadza.

 

He scored 39 off 33 balls, with four fours, and the score was 114 for two wickets in the 14th over.

 

Balbirnie and Shane Getkate then accelerated the scoring rate even further, the latter making 12 off nine balls before he miscued a pull off Jongwe and was caught by Madhevere at deep midwicket; 144 for three in the 17th over.

 

In the following over, Madhevere took another good catch, this time at deep point, as Balbirnie failed to clear the boundary with a ramp off Ngarava.

 

He had scored 36 off only 22 balls, with four fours and a six, and the score was now 147 for four in the 18th over.

 

William McClintock (15 not out) and George Dockrell (14 not out) used up the rest of the 20 overs, putting on 27 together, and Dockrell hit the penultimate ball, bowled by Jongwe, for a big six over long-on.

 

Ireland finished with 174 for four wickets.

 

The most successful bowler was Masakadza, who took two for 22 off his four overs, while Ngarava and Jongwe took a wicket each.

 

Zimbabwe opened their batting as usual with Madhevere and Tadiwanashe Marumani.

 

They lost Marumani (4) in the second over, hitting a return catch to the bowler Mark Adair, leaving them at seven for one.

 

Regis Chakabva came in and quickly hit two cracking fours, only to be given out unexpectedly caught down the leg side off Adair for 11; 21 for two.

 

Dion Myers got a four off the inside edge from the first ball he faced, from Adair, only to be bowled by a yorker next ball, reducing Zimbabwe to 25 for three in the fourth over.

 

After five overs, the score was 30 for three wickets, which immediately became four, as the next delivery, from Craig Young, Madhevere (6) miscued a pull and lobbed a catch to mid-on.

 

Craig Ervine seemed to have settled in well, but on the other end Milton Shumba was bowled by Barry McCarthy for six in the ninth over; 48 for five.

 

Donald Tiripano stayed for a partnership of 20 runs – the highest of the innings so far – with Ervine before he was stumped by Neil Rock off Getkate for five; 68 for six in the 13th over.

 

Zimbabwe’s hopes of making a decent fight suffered a huge blow when in the following over, from Simi Singh, Ervine drove a catch to long-on after scoring 28 off 30 balls; 72 for seven.

 

In the following over, Masakadza was given out lbw to Getkate for four, but Jongwe and Muzarabani put on 11 to take the team past Zimbabwe’s lowest-ever T20I score – 84 against New Zealand at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in West Indies in 2010 – before Adair returned to bowl Muzarabani for two; 86 for nine.

 

Ironically, the highest partnership of the innings was for the last wicket, as Jongwe, who fought well for 24 not out, and Ngarava, 11 not out, put on 24 together to take the final score to 110 for nine wickets.

 

Adair was the man who did the most damage, with four wickets for 23 runs, while Getkate took two and three other bowlers one each.