Zimbabwe play India in two Twenty20 games this weekend and even though Zimbabwe recently lost to Sri Lanka in the final of the One day international tri-nation series, they still have many reasons to feel confident. During the group stages they beat India twice and Sri Lanka once, finishing top of the table. In the twenty20 format of the game, they have also had some recent successes, beating Australia and Pakistan in the warm up games to the Twenty20 World cup.
Whilst the two teams have played each other many times recently, this will be the first game between these two sides in the Twenty20 format. So far India have 12 wins and 11 defeats, while Zimbabwe have only played ten Twenty20 games, winning three of them.
Date and Time of the games
Both games take place in Harare, the first match kicks off on Saturday 12th June at 1pm local time (11am GMT), or 12pm British Summer Time. The second game is on Sunday the 13th June at 1pm local time (11am GMT), or 12pm British Summer Time.
Zim’s spinners are their strongest card, depriving opposing teams of easy runs, forcing them into mistakes and then taking wickets. In the batting department, keep an eye out for the openers Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor who both go into the game with some great form. Brendan Taylor in particular was almost unstoppable in the tri-series, and will look to cash in with some more runs over the weekend.
Possible Zimbabwe team: 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Brendan Taylor, 3 Tatenda Taibu (wk) 4 Charles Coventry, 5 Andy Blignaut 6 Ervine, 7 Elton Chigumbura (capt), 8 Graeme Cremer, 9 Prosper Utseya, 10 Greg Lamb, 11 Ray Price.
India seem to be of the opinion of “If you can’t beat them, join them” and they have four spinners to choose from, in addition to two spinning allrounders, of whom Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha will expect to make the cut. The seamers were pretty much to a man unimpressive in the ODIs, and it could be a toss-up between Umesh Yadav, Ashok Dinda and Pankaj Singh for two spots. Lack of options could force the side to field Dinesh Karthik and Yusuf Pathan, both notable exclusions for the Asia Cup..
Possible Indian Team: 1 M Vijay, 2 Dinesh Karthik/Naman Ojha (wk), 3 Suresh Raina (capt), 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Pragyan Ojha, 10 and 11 Two out of Ashok Dinda, Umesh Yadav and Pankaj Singh.
Game Over: India 112/4 (15.0/20 ov), India won by 6 wickets (with 30 balls remaining). Zimbabwe just didn’t make enough and it was clear from the start. Had they scored 160, this would have been an interesting chase. India looked jittery against Mpofu in the beginning and threatened to make heavy weather of this chase but Pathan eased the nerves with some big hits.
3:14pm Another Wicket, this is starting to get interesting again: India 48/4 (7.4/20 ov). RG Sharma stumped †Tatenda Taibu bowled Ray Price 10 (15b 1×4 0x6) SR: 66.66
3:12pm Wicket: SK Raina caught Chigumbura bowled Ray Price 28 (17b 3×4 1×6) SR: 164.70. India 47/3 (7.2/20 ov). India require another 65 runs with 7 wickets and 12.4 overs remaining.
2:52pm Zim needed early wickets and they now have 2: India 12/2 (2.5/20 ov). India require another 100 runs with 8 wickets and 17.1 overs remaining. Last wicket: NV Ojha caught †Tatenda Taibu bowled Chris Mpofu 2 (9b 0x4 0x6) SR: 22.22
2:44pm Zim off to a good start, Mpofu Strikes: India 7/1 (1.0/20 ov) M Vijay c Utseya b Mpofu 5 (5b 1×4 0x6) SR: 100.00. India require another 105 runs with 9 wickets and 19.0 overs remaining.
1:29pm End of Zim’s innings – was hard to watch the end of that as Zimbabwe played terribly. Lets hope that the bowlers can do better when India come out to bat. Zimbabwe 111/9 (20.0/20 ov).
1:19pm Hard to watch this – Zim playing terribly, now 108/9 (19.4/20 ov)
1:12pm Wicket: Craig Ervine (b Dinda 30). Zimbabwe 103/7 after 18.3 overs
11:44am Ogh no, another two wickets in quick succession, Zimbabwe now 81/6 (13.3/20 ov) – not looking good for Zim. Last two wickets: E Chigumbura c Vijay b PP Ojha 3 (9b 0x4 0x6) and GA Lamb lbw b PP Ojha 0 (1b 0x4 0x6)
11:44am Wicket: Zimbabwe 73/4 (10.3/20 ov) CJ Chibhabha lbw b Chawla 40 (30b 5×4 1×6) SR: 133.33. Zimbabwe Run Rate 6.95
11:44am Zimbabwe* vs India, 57 / 3 in 7.0 overs – RR 8.14, Craig Ervine 3(6b), Chamu Chibhabha 29(20b), Pragyan 2.0-0-8-0.
Zimbabwe Dancing Girls
11:15am Zimbabwe fight back, but also loose another wicket: Brendan Taylor lbw bowled Vinay Kumar 15 (9b 2×4 1×6) SR: 166.66. Zimbabwe 30/2 (3.0/20 ov) Run Rate 10.58
11:02am Ogh no Zimbabwe loose their first wicket very early – Hamilton Masakadza c Raina b Vinay Kumar 1 (3b 0x4 0x6) SR: 33.33 and that brings Chamu Chibhabha into bat. Zimbabwe 2/1 (0.4/20 ov)
11:00am Zimbabwe team news: ED Rainsford and Chamu Chibhabha are in replacing Charles Coventry and Graeme Cremer.
Toss India have won the toss and have decided to bowl first.
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