Ballance in Zimbabwe squad for Test series against West Indies

Gary Ballance has been named in Zimbabwe’s squad for their two-match Test series against the West Indies that gets underway at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Saturday.

 

The left-handed batter recently committed to playing for his country of birth after he had previously featured in 23 Tests for England, scoring 1 498 runs with four centuries and seven fifties at an average of 37.45.

 

In the absence of regular captain Sean Williams who is recovering from a fractured finger, Craig Ervine will lead Zimbabwe in the series.

 

The home side will also be without all-rounders Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl who are fulfilling franchise commitments abroad, while pacemen Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani are recuperating from thigh injuries.

 

Their absence has opened up opportunities in the Zimbabwe squad for players who have been enjoying good form in the domestic first-class competition, the Logan Cup, among them the uncapped quartet of wicketkeeper-batters Tafadzwa Tsiga and Joylord Gumbie as well as opening batters Kudzai Maunze and Tanunurwa Makoni.

 

The trio of top-order batter Innocent Kaia and seamers Bradley Evans and Tanaka Chivanga is also in line to make their Test debuts after they were picked to face the West Indies.

 

Donald Tiripano and Chamunorwa Chibhabha have been recalled to add some experience to the side, while Victor Nyauchi, Wellington Masakadza, Richard Ngarava, Brandon Mavuta and Milton Shumba will be looking to make an impression in the longest version of the game.

 

The first Test is scheduled for 4-8 February, with the second pencilled in for 12-16 February.

 

ZIMBABWE SQUAD FOR TEST SERIES VERSUS WEST INDIES:

 

Ballance Gary, Chibhabha Chamunorwa, Chivanga Tanaka, Ervine Craig (captain), Evans Bradley, Gumbie Joylord, Kaia Innocent, Makoni Tanunurwa, Masakadza Wellington, Maunze Kudzai, Mavuta Brandon, Ngarava Richard, Nyauchi Victor, Shumba Milton, Tiripano Donald, Tsiga Tafadzwa

 

ZIMBABWE VERSUS WEST INDIES TEST SERIES SCHEDULE:

 

MATCH

DATES

VENUE

START

1st Test

4-8 February

Queens Sports Club

10.00 am (CAT)

2nd Test

12-16 February

Queens Sports Club

10.00 am (CAT)

Zimbabwe XI, West Indies warm-up match peters out to a draw

West Indians – 517 and 82-2 in 27.1 overs (Jermaine Blackwood 34*, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 23, Nkrumah Bonner 13; Faraz Akram 1/4, William Mashinge 1/6)

Zimbabwe XI – 122 all out in 56.3 overs (Timycen Maruma 37, Tafadzwa Tsiga 21*, Faraz Akram 19; Alzarri Joseph 2/12, Shannon Gabriel 2/21, Gudakesh Motie 2/24) 

 

Match drawn

 

The three-day warm-up match between the Zimbabwe XI and West Indian sides petered out to a draw at Bulawayo Athletic Club on Monday, after the tourists had gained a big lead of 395 runs on the first innings.

The home team began the third day on 52 for five wickets, with Timycen Maruma on 15 and Milton Shumba four.

Shumba was soon bowled by Shannon Gabriel for 13, but Maruma went on to make 37 before he was caught off the left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie.

Nine wickets were down for 87, with Tafadzwa Tsiga playing a defensive innings.

The last man to bat, Faraz Akram, showed a willingness to take on the bowlers with some good strokes, though, and he hit up 19 off 28 balls, taking the score to 122 before he was caught at slip off Roston Chase.

Tsiga was left unbeaten, having faced 95 balls, more than any of his team-mates, in scoring his 21 runs.

In the little time remaining the West Indians opted for more batting practice rather than enforce what would probably have been a rather futile follow-on.

Akram had the satisfaction of removing Raymon Reifer, who opened the batting with Tagenarine Chanderpaul, caught at the wicket by Tsiga for one.

William Mashinge dismissed Nkrumah Bonner the same way for 13, while Chanderpaul plodded his way to 23 off 83 balls before retiring.

Jermaine Blackwood provided the only real entertainment of the innings by scoring 34 not out off 49 balls.

As soon as the umpires called the players off the field for bad light, the two captains decided to shake hands and end the match as a draw, with the tourists’ score 82 for two wickets.

Zimbabwe XI face uphill task after West Indians post 517

West Indians – 517-8 in 132.5 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 116, Joshua Da Silva 100, Roston Chase 87*; Milton Shumba 3/80, Donald Tiripano 2/34, Tanaka Chivanga 1/23)

Zimbabwe XI – 52-5 in 21.3 overs (Timycen Maruma 15*, Tanunurwa Makoni 13, Joylord Gumbie 11; Alzarri Joseph 2/12, Kyle Mayers 1/0, Jason Holder 1/2) 

 

Day 2 – Stumps: Zimbabwe XI trail by 465 runs

 

A century from the West Indian wicket-keeper, Joshua da Silva, was the highlight of a day that was disappointing for the Zimbabwe XI team at Bulawayo Athletic Club on Sunday.

The tourists ran up a total of 517 in their first innings and by the time bad light stopped play the home side had slumped to 52 for five wickets.

This match will not be included in the first-class records because both teams decided to play their full squads of 15 players in a mere practice game, although only 11 players per side are allowed to bat or field at a time.

The tourists began the day on 313 for five in their first innings, the overnight batters being Devon Thomas on 42 and da Silva on nine.

Thomas just missed his fifty, being out for 49 when he tried to hook a short ball from Donald Tiripano, but edged a catch to the wicket-keeper, Tafadzwa Tsiga, at 334 for six.

Then followed a dazzling century partnership between da Silva and Roston Chase.

Da Silva reached his century and then retired, having scored exactly 100 off 149 balls, with 13 fours.

Jason Holder scored only four before he chopped a ball from Milton Shumba on to his stumps, and after lunch Shumba had Alzarri Joseph caught at slip for 11.

Chase was not out with 87 (83 balls, two sixes and nine fours), and with 10 wickets having gone down the innings was over for a total of 517.

Shumba took three wickets, which included the last two in the batting order, but went for 80 runs off 11.5 runs.

Tiripano’s figures were more impressive, two for 34 off 13.3 overs.

The Zimbabwe XI batters were soon in trouble against the pace of the West Indians.

Kudzai Maunze was the first to go, in the second over without a run on the board, as he edged a delivery from Joseph to the wicket-keeper.

Joylord Gumbie hit two fours, but was then out for 11, in the same way as Maunze.

The other opening batter, Tanu Makoni, fought hard to score 13, but was then third out at 30, caught at slip off Kyle Mayers.

Wessly Madhevere quickly went lbw to Holder without scoring, while Tony Munyonga was caught on the leg side off a bouncer from Shannon Gabriel for one.

Timycen Maruma and Shumba then showed some spirit by fighting off the attack and surviving until the early close due to poor light and lightning, with Maruma having made 15 and Shumba nine.

Brathwaite ton gets West Indies off to solid start against Zimbabwe XI

West Indians – 313-5 in 90 overs (Kraigg Brathwaite 116, Kyle Mayers 46, Tagenarine Chanderpaul 46; Tanaka Chivanga 1/11, Donald Tiripano 1/21, Milton Shumba 1/32)

Zimbabwe XI –  

 

Day 1 – Stumps

A century by the West Indian captain Kraigg Brathwaite was the highlight of the first day’s play in their three-day warm-up match against Zimbabwe XI at Bulawayo Athletic Club on Saturday.

Donald Tiripano, captaining the home side, put the tourists in to bat on winning the toss.

Brathwaite opened the batting along with the left-handed Tagenarine Chanderpaul, who showed much of the tenacity of his famous father Shivnarine, but without his father’s distinctive crab-like stance.

Chanderpaul scored just four runs off the first 31 balls he faced before he felt he had settled in and began to score, although never quickly.

Brathwaite too was mainly intent on taking a good ‘net’ in Zimbabwean conditions, and only later began to play his strokes.

The pair put on 137 for the first wicket, with Brathwaite now playing fluently, before Chanderpaul on 46 was out to an excellent low diving catch to his left by the wicket-keeper Tafadzwa Tsiga off Tanaka Chivanga after he had made 46 off 134 balls.

The score was 195 for one at tea, and Brathwaite, past his century, now decided to retire and let his other batters have a turn.

Raymon Reifer made a cautious 23 off 70 balls before he was deceived and bowled by Priviledge Chesa’s googly at 199, immediately after Nkrumah Bonner had been dismissed lbw to Wessly Madhevere for three.

Jermaine Blackwood played a positive innings of 17 before driving a simple catch to mid-on off Milton Shumba, while Kyle Mayers hit some good strokes in making 46 off 63 balls, when he was beaten and bowled by a faster ball from Tiripano.

Devon Thomas also hit well for 42 not out off 54 balls, and at the close he was partnered by the wicket-keeper, Joshua de Silva, who had nine.

Nine bowlers were used, with five of them taking a wicket each.

The most economical was Chivanga, who took one for 11 off 8.3 overs before he broke down.

ZC announces Zimbabwe XI squad for West Indies warm-up game

Zimbabwe Cricket has announced a Zimbabwe XI side that will face the West Indies in a three-day warm-up match ahead of the Test series in Bulawayo.

 

The preparatory game is scheduled to start this Saturday at Bulawayo Athletic Club.

 

The 15-man Zimbabwe XI squad includes five players with Test caps in Donald Tiripano, Carl Mumba, Timycen Maruma, Wessly Madhevere and Milton Shumba.

 

Players enjoying good form in the Logan Cup – among them Tapiwa Mufudza, Joylord Gumbie, Kudzai Maunze, Tanunurwa Makoni and Priviledge Chesa – have also been selected.

 

After the warm-up game, Zimbabwe will face the West Indies in two Test matches at Queens Sports Club, also in Bulawayo

 

The first Test is scheduled for 4-8 February, with the second pencilled in for 12-16 February.

 

ZIMBABWE XI SQUAD FOR THREE-DAY MATCH VERSUS WEST INDIES:

 

Akram Faraz, Chesa Priviledge, Chivanga Tanaka, Gumbie Joylord, Madhevere Wessly, Makoni Tanunurwa, Maruma Timycen, Mashinge William, Maunze Kudzai, Mufudza Tapiwa, Mumba Carl, Munyonga Tony, Shumba Milton, Tiripano Donald, Tsiga Tafadzwa

 

WEST INDIES IN ZIMBABWE MATCH SCHEDULE:

 

MATCH

DATES

VENUE

START

Warm-Up

28-30 January

Bulawayo Athletic Club

10.00 am (CAT)

1st Test

4-8 February

Queens Sports Club

10.00 am (CAT)

2nd Test

12-16 February

Queens Sports Club

10.00 am (CAT)

Raza continues to shine after making ICC ODI, T20I teams of the year

Star all-rounder Sikandar Raza has been named in the International Cricket Council (ICC)’s ODI and T20I teams of the year, becoming the first Zimbabwe male player to achieve the feat.

 

The line-ups – a feature of the ICC Awards 2022 which captures the best combined XIs across the different formats of men’s and women’s international cricket after an action-packed year of competition – were announced on Tuesday.

 

After enjoying a terrific run of form during the year, it came as no surprise when Raza was included in the ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year as well as the ICC Men’s T20I Team of the Year.

 

He is also shortlisted for three of the ICC’s major individual awards.

 

Apart from his nomination for the coveted Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy which celebrates the overall best performing men’s cricketer, Raza is also in the running for the ICC Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year and the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year accolades.

 

The winners of the individual awards will be announced this week.

 

Raza first made history when he was named the ICC Men’s Player of the Month for August 2022, becoming the first Zimbabwean to win the prestigious accolade.

 

The talented all-rounder clinched the award after he scored three centuries against Bangladesh and India.

 

He 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.

 

Raza 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.

 

Raza then found himself nominated for the second time in three months when he was shortlisted for the ICC Men’s Player of the Month Award for October after he played a key role in Zimbabwe’s qualification through to the Super 12 stage of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia.

 

Scoring 145 runs and taking nine wickets at a formidable average of 14.66 from his six T20Is, he won three Player of the Match awards at the global showpiece, including for his contribution in the wins against Ireland (82 not out) and the upset result against Pakistan (3/25).

 

ICC Men’s ODI Team of the Year:

Babar Azam (captain) (Pakistan), Travis Head (Australia), Shai Hope (West Indies), Shreyas Iyer (India), Tom Latham (wicketkeeper) (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Mehidy Hasan Miraz (Bangladesh), Alzarri Joseph (West Indies), Mohammed Siraj (India), Trent Boult (New Zealand), Adam Zampa (Australia)

ICC Men’s T20I Team of the Year:

Jos Buttler (captain/wicketkeeper) (England), Mohammad Rizwan (Pakistan), Virat Kohli (India), Suryakumar Yadav (India), Glenn Phillips (New Zealand), Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe), Hardik Pandya (India), Sam Curran (England), Wanindu Hasaranga (Sri Lanka), Haris Rauf (Pakistan), Josh Little (Ireland)

Zimbabwe, Ireland share ODI series after rain washes out decider

Zimbabwe – 55-1 in 13 over (Innocent Kaia 24*, Chamu Chibhabha 16, Craig Ervine 11*; Mark Adair 1/15)

Ireland –  

 

No result

After two weeks of intriguing matches, the Ireland tour of Zimbabwe unfortunately ended with an abandonment of the third and final One-Day International (ODI) match at Harare Sports Club on Monday.

Zimbabwe made three changes to their team, with Craig Ervine and Luke Jongwe returning, and Brandon Mavuta also included, while the injured Gary Ballance and Tendai Chatara as well as Victor Nyauchi dropped out.

Ervine was the only one of these able to set foot on the field during active play.

Zimbabwe won the toss on a good batting pitch and, with an ominous weather forecast for the day, this time decided to bat first.

Chamu Chibhabha moved up to open the batting with Innocent Kaia, with Tadiwanashe Marumani moving down the order.

The new pair made a useful and enterprising partnership together of 29, before in the seventh over Chibhabha (16) mistimed a drive against the new bowler, Mark Adair, and chipped a catch to Murray Commins at short extra cover.

Ervine joined Kaia and the pair were building a useful partnership when the first batch of rain arrived and fell heavily, driving the players off the field with the score 55 for one off 13 overs, in about an hour’s play.

Kaia had scored a good-looking 24 off 32 balls and Ervine 11 off 18.

A heavy shower left the field very wet, and a great deal of hard work was put in by the ground staff to try to dry it, only for more rain to strike just as they were removing the covers.

This was the final blow, and at about 2.50 pm the match had to be abandoned as a ‘no result’.

The ODI series was therefore shared with one victory each, with Harry Tector of Ireland being named as the Player of the Series.

Zimbabwe fall short as Ireland square series

Ireland – 294-7 in 50 overs (Stephen Doheny 84, Harry Tector 75, Paul Stirling 45; Tendai Chatara 3/51, Brad Evans 2/66, Ryan Burl 1/43)

Zimbabwe – 248 all out in 47.3 overs (Gary Ballance 52, Innocent Kaia 51, Ryan Burl 41; Josh Little 4/38, Mark Adair 2/39, Graham Hume 2/52)

 

Ireland won by 46 runs 

 

Innocent Kaia, Chamu Chibhabha, Gary Ballance and Ryan Burl all scored 40 runs or more for Zimbabwe in the second One-Day International (ODI) at Harare Sports Club on Saturday, but fine batting by Ireland had set them a task they could not exceed.

Ireland’s total of 294 for seven wickets set Zimbabwe a target that in the end they failed to reach, and were bowled out for 248, to give the tourists a fine victory by 46 runs.

Both teams played without their regular captains, with Craig Ervine suffering from a finger injury and Andy Balbirnie out of the series after suffering concussion from his injury in the first match.

There was an excellent batting pitch prepared for this game, but Sikandar Raza as Zimbabwe’s captain for the match decided to put Ireland in on winning the toss.

Ireland, very determined after their defeat in the first match, made the running from the start with a brilliant opening partnership between their acting captain Paul Stirling and Stephen Doheny, promoted in his second ODI.

Stirling made most of the early runs, but then Doheny grew in confidence and caught up with his partner.

With some fine batting against some bowling of mixed quality, the pair put on 104 runs in 21 overs before Stirling tried to pull a short ball from Brad Evans, only to be caught by Ballance on the long-leg boundary.

Murray Commins, in next, scored only six before he cut another short ball from Evans to deep backward point, where Ballance again took the catch.

There followed another good partnership between Doheny and Harry Tector before the former skyed a ball from Burl to mid-off, and again Ballance was in the right place – a rare occurrence of the same outfielder taking catches for each of the first three wickets to fall in an innings.

The score was now 182 for three in the 36th over.

Tector continued to attack the bowling in fine style, but Lorcan Tucker made 11 before he skyed a big hit from Richard Ngarava to backward point, where this time it was held by Chamu Chibhabha, playing his first ODI since 2020.

Tector, the danger man, reached 75 off 61 balls before he was caught near the midwicket boundary by Burl from a big leg-hit off Tendai Chatara.

Four balls later the new man, Curtis Camphor, gave Ballance his fourth catch, this one at mid-off from a miscued drive off Chatara.

Ireland were now 260 for six wickets in the 47th over.

George Dockrell was now the main danger man, but in the 49th over he skyed a hit almost directly upwards – Chatara ran down the pitch and was fortunate to hold the return catch as he collided with the wicket-keeper Clive Madande, who had the same idea.

Andy McBrine with eight and Mark Adair with six, both not out, did well to score 13 runs off the last seven deliveries, but Ireland were no doubt disappointed not to have topped 300 after their excellent start – their score was 294 for seven wickets.

Chatara was the most successful bowler with three wickets for 51, as all the six bowlers used went for more than five runs an over.

Zimbabwe suffered an early shock when they batted.

Innocent Kaia took a single off the first ball of the innings, bowled by Josh Little, but Tadiwanashe Marumani missed the second, a straight delivery, and was out lbw.

Chibhabha came in to join Kaia, and the two of them went after the bowling in good style.

They took the score to 90 in the 20th over, but then Chibhabha went for a lofted drive off McBrine without enough force behind it and was very well caught by Graham Hume for 40, scored off 55 balls with four fours.

Soon after being joined by Ballance, Kaia reached his fifty off 66 balls.

He did not last long, though, as he got in the wrong position to hit a ball through the covers and was caught by Stirling off Little for 51 off 70 balls, with a six and three fours – 102 for three in the 23rd over.

Raza joined Ballance in a vital partnership, which was just developing when the stand-in skipper got a top edge on a pull against Adair and skyed a catch to be gone for 25 off 21 balls, having hit three fours.

Zimbabwe were now in some trouble at 140 for four in the 29th over, as Burl joined Ballance, the last two recognised and experienced batters in the team and not halfway to their target yet.

Burl nearly went straight away, as he miscued a pull to mid-on, but the chance was dropped.

The partnership then flourished, and the 200 was passed in the 39th over.

But at 207 the partnership was broken by cricket’s cruellest law, as Ballance drove a ball from Camphor straight back down the pitch.

Camphor tried to stop it, but accidentally deflected the ball into the stumps at the bowler’s end, where Burl, backing up as he should have been, was out of his crease and therefore run out.

He had scored a fine 41 off 39 balls with five fours and at this stage Ballance was on 44.

In the end, this unfortunate dismissal proved to be the final turning point of the match.

Zimbabwe needed 86 runs to win in the last 10 overs as Madande joined Ballance.

At 219 the sixth wicket fell, as Little produced a superb delivery that moved away from Madande (6) and shattered his stumps.

Evans soon got a few runs, but there was a mix-up between the two, and Ireland missed what should have been an easy chance to run him out.

Soon Ballance reached his fifty off 63 balls, but Evans did not last much longer – he has scored 14 off 12 balls when he pulled a short ball from Hume and was very well caught by Tector running in to midwicket.

Zimbabwe were now 235 for seven in the 45th over and their hopes had almost gone.

Ngarava came in, scored two, swung at a ball from Little and was clean bowled at 238 for eight.

Ballance did his best, but he now had to take serious risks to keep Zimbabwe in the game.

A desperate drive off Hume was caught by Little at long-off, and he was gone for a gallant 52, scored off 67 balls with two fours.

At 242 for nine in the 47th over, the result was now certain, and completed when Nyauchi was bowled by Adair for seven, leaving Chatara not out with two.

The total was 248, and 15 balls were left unbowled.

Ireland’s match-winner with the ball was Little, who took four wickets for 38 in his 10 overs, and he was the winner of the Player of the Match award.

Zimbabwe clinch last-ball thriller to sink Ireland in first ODI

Ireland – 288-4 in 50 overs (Andy Balbirnie 121, Harry Tector 101*, Paul Stirling 13; Victor Nyauchi 2/65, Richard Ngarava 1/40, Sikandar Raza 1/47)

Zimbabwe – 214-7 in 37 overs (Ryan Burl 59, Sikandar Raza 43, Craig Ervine 38; Mark Adair 2/40, Graham Hume 2/41, Harry Tector 1/20)

 

Zimbabwe won by three wickets (Duckworth-Lewis method)

Zimbabwe clinched a last-ball thriller to defeat Ireland by three wickets in a rain-affected one-day international match at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday, thanks to brilliant batting from Ryan Burl and Sikandar Raza and one final blow from Clive Madande that brought the hosts back almost from the dead.

 

The home team put the tourists in to bat on winning the toss, taking a risk with the unsettled weather which might – and did – bring Duckworth-Lewis into operation later in the game.

Richard Ngarava and Victor Nyauchi bowled very well to give Zimbabwe a good start with the early wickets of the Ireland openers.

Nyauchi moved a ball in to bowl out Stephen Doheny for three, and then Ngarava took the vital wicket of Paul Stirling, a man who has scored heavily off Zimbabwe in the past, trapping him lbw for 13 with an excellent full-length ball.

But then came the partnership that almost took the game away from Zimbabwe, as Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie played himself in well and was joined at the crease by the dynamic young all-rounder Harry Tector.

The other Zimbabwe bowlers were generally consistent, but less effective, the fielding was not as vibrant as usual, and the pair continued to bat superbly, keeping the runs flowing although never really tearing the bowling apart.

They came together in the ninth over and stayed together until the 45th over, when the partnership came to an unfortunate end.

Balbirnie, having reached his eighth ODI century, received an accidental high full toss from Brad Evans, which he tried to pull, but top-edged the ball hard into the grill of his visor.

He had to retire hurt with 121, a magnificent innings for his team that lasted 137 balls and contained three sixes and 13 fours.

Tector stayed to the end of the innings, although he lost two partners in George Dockrell for 12, off five balls, and Curtis Camphor for eight, to the bowling of Raza and Nyauchi respectively.

In the final over, Tector reached his third ODI century and finished with 101 not out, having taken 109 balls and including a six and eight fours.

His partner at the finish was Lorcan Tucker, 12 not out off eight balls, and the total was a daunting 288 for four wickets.

When Zimbabwe went in, Wessly Madhevere suffered another unfortunate dismissal, as in the fifth over, with only five runs on the board and his own score two, he sliced a drive to be caught at backward point off the bowling of Mark Adair.

Craig Ervine joined Innocent Kaia at the crease, and soon announced himself with a handsome on-drive for four, but survived a difficult chance at backward point off a cut.

The pair pushed the score along briskly, but Kaia was dropped off a rather difficult chance when he miscued a pull.

A repeat of that shot saw him caught off Graham Hume for 19 – 49 for two in the 13th over.

Ervine and Gary Ballance took the score to 80 before Ervine checked a drive against Tector, lobbing the ball up towards mid-off, and the bowler ran back to hold a very good catch.

 

He had made 38 off 43 balls and the score was 80 for three in the 20th over.

Raza came in, vibrant and as full of determination as ever, and soon cracked successive fours, but he lost Ballance, who miscued a hook off Josh Little and was caught near the long-leg boundary.

Ballance made 23 and Zimbabwe were now in trouble at 99 for four in the 23rd over.

Burl joined Raza, and this was surely the partnership the success or failure of which would most likely decide the result of this match.

Burl played himself in and then began to attack.

Zimbabwe had fallen badly below the required run rate, but the pair, scoring at better than a run a ball, began to close the gap.

At the second drinks interval, after 32 overs, the score was 171 for four wickets – Raza had 41 and Burl 39.

Play continued, but a light drizzle was starting to fall with Zimbabwe still in arrears on Duckworth-Lewis.

At 175 for four, the umpires decided to take the players off the field and bring on the covers.

Play started again just before 5.15pm, and the Duckworth-Lewis regulations stated that Zimbabwe needed to score another 39 runs off only 22 balls in order to win.

This put the batters under great pressure, and they had to hit at everything without the chance to get their eyes in again.

Off the second ball, bowled by Adair, Raza went for a mighty pull, only to be caught on the midwicket boundary.

He had scored 43 runs off 45 balls, with a six and four fours.

Burl and Madande managed to score off most deliveries, and at one stage managed an all-run four, but not at the great rate required of them.

Now 28 runs were required off the last two overs.

Little bowled the penultimate over, and with a four and a six Burl reached his fifty and 15 runs were scored, leaving 13 to win off the final over, bowled by Hume.

Madande scored a single, and Burl hit a ball deep, needing two to keep the strike, but a fine throw had him run out for a gallant 58.

He had faced 41 balls, hit two sixes and six fours, and his dismissal effectively ended Zimbabwe’s hopes of victory.

Or so it appeared.

 

Evans came in and hit the next ball for a six over extra cover, but was then lbw next ball to a full-length delivery.

Five runs were needed from the last two balls.

Wellington Masakadza drove a single into the deep, leaving Madande to hit a boundary for victory off the final ball.

Madande proved to be up to the task, as he blasted that delivery with all his power to the midwicket boundary to give Zimbabwe an amazing victory.

He finished with 12 not out off nine balls, which proved to be just enough.

The Player of the Match award was obviously a very difficult choice, but it went eventually to Burl.

The second match of the series will be played at the same venue on Saturday.

Raza returns for Zimbabwe’s ODI series against Ireland

Sikandar Raza has been named in Zimbabwe’s 15-man squad for the three-match one-day international (ODI) series against Ireland that gets underway in Harare this Wednesday.

 

The star all-rounder missed the just-ended Twenty20 international (T20I) series between the two sides after Zimbabwe Cricket gave him permission to play franchise cricket elsewhere.

 

Apart from Raza, former captain Chamunorwa Chibhabha has been recalled to boost Zimbabwe’s top-order batting options.

 

Also back in the fold is leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta, who has been enjoying a rich vein of form on the domestic front.

 

Top-order batter Gary Ballance, who missed the last two T20I matches against Ireland due to mild concussion, is fit again and in line to make his ODI bow for the country of his birth after he was included in the squad.

 

Zimbabwe will however be without veteran all-rounder Sean Williams after he broke a right-hand finger in the field during the second game on Saturday.

 

The rest of the players in the squad, led by captain Craig Ervine, were all involved in the T20I series which Zimbabwe won by two victories to one after beating Ireland by four wickets in a nail-biting decider played in front of a capacity crowd at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

 

The ODI matches will take place at the same venue with the first one scheduled for this Wednesday, 18 January, the second game pencilled in for Saturday, 21 January, and the third and final set for Monday, 23 January.

 

Play will start at 9.15 am local time.

 

Tickets for the series are available online at www.webtickets.co.za and will also be sold at the venue gates on matchdays.

 

There will be free entry for pensioners and children in full school uniform.

 

ZIMBABWE ODI SQUAD VERSUS IRELAND:

Ervine Craig (captain), Ballance Gary, Burl Ryan, Chatara Tendai, Chibhabha Chamunorwa, Ervine Craig, Evans Bradley, Kaia Innocent, Madande Clive, Madhevere Wessly, Marumani Tadiwanashe, Masakadza Wellington, Mavuta Brandon, Ngarava Richard, Nyauchi Victor, Raza Sikandar

 

ZIMBABWE VERSUS IRELAND ODI SERIES SCHEDULE:

 

DAY

DATE

MATCH

VENUE

START

Wednesday

18 January

1st ODI

Harare Sports Club

9.15 am

Saturday

21 January

2nd ODI

Harare Sports Club

9.15 am

Monday

23 January

3rd ODI

Harare Sports Club

9.15 am