The Zimbabwe’s run to the final of this tri-series has been impressive as they have not just been winning their games, but winning them well and do look like a team full of confidence and one that knows how to win. I have been a Zim cricket fan for yonks and rarely, if ever have I seen them chase down targets with such ease and confidence before.
After impressive wins against India and the demolishing of Sri Lanka by eight wickets on Monday, Zimbabwe a now just one game away from their first triumph in a multi-nation tournament involving Test-playing nations
So far in this tournament Zimbabwe have only had one bad day and that was against Sri Lanka, hopefully they can keep their nerves together and play as well as they know they can. What is encouraging is they look like a team that are enjoying their cricket: the choreographed dance between Ray Price and Chris Mpofu and Hamilton Masakadza’s ‘just married’ are examples of this.
Zimbabwe will be hoping that their opening pair of Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza can continue with their fine form and that their “spin army” continue to not only tie down the Sri Lankans, but take wickets. Greg Lamb and Andy Blignaut will probably return to the team after missing the last game.
Squad: Elton Chigumbura (Captain), AM Blignaut, CJ Chibhabha, CK Coventry, AG Cremer, CR Ervine, GA Lamb, H Masakadza, CB Mpofu, RW Price, EC Rainsford, V Sibanda, T Taibu†, BRM Taylor, P Utseya
Even though Sri Lanka lost to Zimbabwe on Monday, they are still the best team in the tournament and must go into this game as favourites. Angelo Mathews and Nuwan Kulasekara, an excellent new-ball bowler may return for the final after missing the last game and are sure to strengthen the team.
Squad: TM Dilshan (Captain), AD Mathews, LD Chandimal†, CRD Fernando, S Randiv, CK Kapugedera, KMDN Kulasekara, BAW Mendis, BMAJ Mendis, NLTC Perera, TT Samaraweera, LPC Silva, WU Tharanga, HDRL Thirimanne, T Thushara
Date and Time of the game
The match kicks off on the 7th June at 09:00 local time (07:00 GMT), or 8:00 British Summer Time. In Sri Lanka and India, the match starts at 12:30.
Hours of play (local time): 09.00 start, First Session 09.00-12.30, Interval 12.30-13.15, Second Session 13.15-16.45
Latest Match Updates:
3:26pm (Zim time) That’s it, Sri Lanka Beat Zim by 9 wickets (with 92 balls remaining) – All too easy for them in the end, but well played Zim for reaching the final.
2:55pm (Zim time) Finally a wicket for Zimbabwe, but far too little far to late. WU Tharanga run out 72 (79b 8×4 1×6) SR: 91.13. Sri Lanka 160/1 (25.5 ov) Sri Lanka require another 40 runs with 9 wickets and 24.1 overs remaining
2:00pm (Zim time) Sri Lanka looking good: Sri Lanka 82/0 (13.0 ov) Required Run Rate 3.18
12:10pm (Zim time) Wicket: That’s it Zimbabwe all out for 199. Last wicket: CB Mpofu run out 6 (9b 0x4 0x6) SR: 66.66
12:05pm (Zim time) Wicket: Clean bowled, Graeme Cremer b Fernando 5 (10b 0x4 0x6) SR: 50.00. Zimbabwe 189/8 (45.5 ov) Zimbabwe in danger of not completing their overs.
11:55am (Zim time) Wicket: Charles Coventry looking to be aggressive, went down the track and heaved it straight to long-on. CK Coventry c Tharanga b BMAJ Mendis 18 (12b 3×4 0x6) SR: 150.00. Zimbabwe now 178/7 (43.3 ov)
11:48am (Zim time) Wicket: Greg Lamb is bowled by BMAJ Mendis for 37 (65b 1×4 0x6) SR: 56.92. Zimbabwe 163/6 (41.4 ov) – run rate 3.91
11:42am (Zim time) Wicket: Elton Chigumbura trying to up the pace, looses his wicket.Zimbabwe 155/5 (40.1 ov). Next man in is Charles Coventry
11:27am (Zim time) Wicket, Tatenda Taibu out for 71 and Zimbabwe are now 139/4 after 35 overs. Also slow going for Zim with a run rate of only 3.87. T Taibu c Kapugedera b Fernando 71 (93b 4×4 0x6) SR: 76.34
10:25am (Zim time) Zimbabwe loose their third wicket, Craig Ervine run out. Zimbabwe now 49/3. Greg Lamb is the new batsman.
9:45am (Zim time) Wicket: ogh no, Taylor gone Zimbabwe now 29/2 (9.3 ov). Brendan Taylor caught Samaraweera bowled Fernando 19 (22b 3×4 0x6) SR: 86.36. Craig Ervine is the new batsman.
9:21am (Zim time) Wicket: After a slow start Zimbabwe loose their first wicket, Zimbabwe 11/1 (4.5 ov). Hamilton Masakadza caught †Chandimal b Kulasekara 4 (23b 0x4 0x6) SR: 17.39. Tatenda Taibu is the new batsman.
Toss: Sri Lanka have won the toss and have chosen to field. Important toss as in every game so far in this tournament, the side batting second has gone on to win. Zimbabwe now need to change that stat.
Zimbabwe Cricket Books
Amazon, have a bunch of Zim related cricket books, including "Blood, Sweat And Treason" by Henry Olonga, “A History of the Rhodesia and Zimbabwe National Sides” by Jonty Winch who traces the history of cricket in this country (Zimbabwe) from the first recorded game played in 1890, through two World Wars and a guerilla war, to the comparative peace of post-independence and eventual world recognition in the 1980s when Zimbabwe was able to send a side to England to take part in the I.C.C. Trophy competition which it won.
There is also the Autobiography of another great Zimbabwean cricket coach Duncan Fletcher “Behind the Shades”
At the moment Amazon UK don’t have as wide selection as the US site, but I have ordered books from the US and had them delivered to the UK with no problems.
Zimbabwe Cricket on Amazon.co.uk