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Leie, Phangiso spin South Africa home - Cricket News
Match Reports,07 July 2015

Leie, Phangiso spin South Africa home

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We let ourselves down, says Taylor

Zimbabwe captain reacts after his team lost the opening match to Sri Lanka

We let ourselves down, says Taylor - Cricket News
Brendan Taylor walks back after being dismissed for a duck.
Brendan Taylor, Zimbabwe’s captain, was the epitome of disappointment on a day when his team crashed to an 82-run loss against a strong Sri Lankan team. Although Zimbabwe did well in patches, it allowed Sri Lanka’s batsmen to run away with the game in the second half of their innings.

“We felt 150-160 on a big outfield would be about par and if we fielded well we would’ve kept Sri Lanka to that much,” said Taylor. “We let ourselves down on the field, leaked too many runs and dropped catches.”

Taylor’s decision to put Sri Lanka in came in for some scrutiny, but he explained the move. “It’s a ground that hasn’t had a lot of cricket on it. We didn’t know how it was going to play and the pitch looked fairly green. So we wanted to try and see if our seamers could extract some movement but it wasn’t the case, it turned out to be a good batting wicket,” said Taylor. “We feel we’re a slightly better chasing team than batting first, but it didn’t work out that way.”

The biggest headache for Taylor came in the second half, when Ajantha Mendis bamboozled the Zimbabwe batting line-up to take six for eight. “He’s always been a knife in our side. He’s a world class performer and he showed that tonight. They were just a lot better outfit tonight and they showed why they’re one of the favourites to win,” said Taylor. “He gives you very little to score off and when you’re chasing nine an over you have to go after some bowler. He was on top of his game tonight and probably caught us off guard a bit.”

That said, Taylor made no excuses for his team’s abject surrender against the mystery spin of Mendis. “He’s very different to most spinners. We have played ODIs against him and he’s had success against us,” said Taylor. “There are only a few around like him. Then again in World Cups you’re going to come across the best, so no surprises.”

Zimbabwe play South Africa next, at Hambantota on Thursday, and it will take heart from the fact that there won’t be any mysteries awaiting it. “We’re more familiar with the South African set up and we know what they’re all about. Obviously, they are a quality team.”

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