The first game of the five match one day series between the West Indies and Zimbabwe will be played at the Provedence ground in Guyana on Thursday March 4th and is to be shown live on Sky Sports 4 from 13:25 here in the UK. The two sides recently played out a low-scoring but very thrilling T20I, where Zimbabwe beat a Denesh Ramdin-led West Indies side.
West Indies still favourites
Despite that loss, it is the lack of Zimbabwean firepower and the previous record that will allow West Indies to go into the game as favourites according to the bookies and it is Chris Gayle’s return to the West Indian side obviously means that he will be favoured to get to a big one. He hdid not have a very good tour of Australia and hence will look to use this opportunity to overcome the form issues before the start of the IPL. West Indies will also be strengthened by the return to international cricket of Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, while Adrian Barath will be tested in his opener’s role.
Kieron Pollard’s recent elevation to an ODI player, as compared to his earlier T20I specialist tag saw him take off well in Australia. He could be the man to watch out for in the series, and how he goes about his business in the first game will make for an interesting viewing.
Zimbabwe’s batsmen have not been as consistent as they would have liked, but that has probably to do with their lack of exposure at the highest level. Most of their recent games against teams like Bangladesh have also been lost and that has mainly to do with the fact that the likes of Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor and Charles Coventry have not been able to perform well as regularly as they would have liked.
The one batsman who missed out in the Twenty20, but cannot be counted out is Tatenda Taibu who had begun the tour with a century and who will look to make this innings count as well.
Though Dwayne Bravo and Ramnaresh Sarwan have not been included in the squad for the opening one-day game, West Indies will be boosted by Gayle’s return, and will also depend heavily on Chanderpaul’s extensive experience and calm batting.
West Indies (probable) – 1 Chris Gayle (capt), 2 Adrian Barath, 3 Shivnarine Chanderpaul, 4 Narsingh Deonarine, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Dwayne Smith, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Sulieman Benn, 11 Nikita Miller
Chris Mpofu and Kyle Jarvis both proved expensive in Zimbabwe’s warm-up game against the UWI Vice Chancellor’s XI, and with another spin-friendly surface expected in Guyana, Zimbabwe could well go for a three-pronged slow bowling attack once again.
Zimbabwe (probable): 1 Vusi Sibanda, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Brendan Taylor 4 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 5 Charles Coventry, 6 Greg Lamb, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Prosper Utseya (capt), 9 Ray Price, 10 Graeme Cremer, 11 Shingirai Masakadza
Fancy a Flutter?
Make the game even more interesting and put some money on it:
Favourites: West Indies (1/4 at Boylesports)
Top West Indian batsman: Chris Gayle (13/5 at Totesport)
Top Zimbabwean batsman: Tatenda Taibu (9/2 at Boylesports)
Free £60 bet when you bet with totesport! – Totesport are currently offering you a £60 in free bets when you open an account with them.
Zimbabwe Cricket Books
Amazon, have a bunch of Zim related cricket books, including “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”
Zimbabwe Cricket Books on Amazon.com
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