ICC Live

CT 2017 - Buy Tickets - 300x250


What are your thoughts on this article?

Zimbabwe count on top order to fire

Team looks to a versatile bowling attack to restrict a confident Netherlands in must-win clash on March 19

Zimbabwe count on top order to fire - Cricket News
In the build-up to the competition, Netherlands batting was in a shambles but it upped its game at the crunch.
It’s make-or-break time for Zimbabwe, the team with the most international experience in the qualifying phase of the ICC World Twenty20 2014 finding itself within one loss of being eliminated from the competition.
Monday (March 17) evening’s loss to Ireland, by three wickets off the last delivery, wasn’t an upset in the statistical sense, given Ireland is placed above Zimbabwe in the ICC Twenty20 International ratings. In saying that, Zimbabwe would have entertained genuine hopes of holding its own, largely because it has the personnel as well as the nous to compete successfully against the best of the Associates.
If it finds itself in a must-win game against the Netherlands at the Sylhet Divisional Stadium on Wednesday (March 19), it is largely because of its own making. The Netherlands, fresh off a comprehensive six-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates, is a well-rounded unit who has got the chasing monkey off its backs, but ig will have taken note of the resources at Brendan Taylor’s disposal and the fact that even without being at its best, Zimbabwe ran the Irish desperately close.
Another defeat on Wednesday will end Zimbabwe’s interest in the competition. It’s exactly the kind of scenario that rouses the African challengers because it is at its most dangerous and free-flowing when pushed to the wall, as it most certainly is at this stage.
One of its main areas of concern stemming from Monday’s defeat was the inability of the top order to stitch together partnerships. Several in the top five played themselves in but couldn’t kick on with the exception of Taylor, and the captain was well within his rights to pull up his batting colleagues for making things difficult for new batsmen coming in.
There is, of course, no quick-fix solution to this problem, apart from a greater understanding of the demands of the T20 game and the awareness that not every ball must necessarily go to the boundary, not even in the 120-ball format, unless it so necessitates such treatment. That will need a change in mindset; whether it will also need a change in the batting order, and a promotion for Elton Chigumbura, is something for Taylor and the think tank to determine.
Zimbabwe has the advantage of having played in the afternoon, an adjustment the Netherlands will have to make after its night win against UAE. It was evident on Monday that as the lights came on, there was a little bit of swing well exploited by Tanashe Panyangara, and the pitch quickened, compared to the first innings when the ball somewhat sat on the surface.
Taylor can also take heart from the fact that Prosper Utseya seldom has two bad games on the trot, and that he can call on quality replacements from the bench including Brian Vittori, whose left-arm over angle will lend further variety to an attack that is generally versatile, if also erratic at times.
The Netherlands find itself in a far happier place. In the build-up to the competition, the Dutch were hesitant, the batting in a shambles, but they upped their game at the crunch, well served by Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart at the top and shored up by Cooper’s class in the middle order.
The confidence with which it set about UAE’s total of 151 was impressive, though the Dutch can’t wish away the tendency of the UAE bowling to spray the ball around and the inability of the fielders to hold on to even the simplest of chances. Zimbabwe won’t be as generous, and if Netherlands is to set up a decisive battle with Ireland on Friday for the lone qualification spot from Group B, it can’t afford to be anything but on top of their game.
Ahsan Malik will be one of the keys to its bowling stint. No more than brisk medium pace, he is a canny customer who keeps at the batsmen from round the stumps, and has subtle changes of pace delivered with no discernible change in action. Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, tends to use him towards the second half of the innings with the batsmen on the charge; Malik has shown himself to be extremely competent in such situations, and Zimbabwe will necessarily need to find ways of countering his variations if it is to maximise the last ten overs, something it failed miserably to do in its previous game.
Nerves will also have a role to play, of that there is little doubt. The prospect of elimination could rouse Zimbabwe out of their slumber, just as the prospect of enhancing their qualification chances could work heavily, and negatively, on Dutch minds. This promises to be one heck of a contest.
Teams (from):
The Netherlands:
Peter Borren (capt), Wesley Barresi (wk), Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Tom Cooper, Tom Heggleman, Ahsan Malik, Vivian Kingma, Stephan Myburgh, Michael Rippon, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart, Eric Szwarczynski, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten.
: Brendan Taylor (capt, wk), Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingi Masakadza, Natsai M’shangwe, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Sikandar Raza, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vittori, Malcolm Walller, Sean Williams.

Similar Articles