Disappointed Zimbabwe captain hopes team will improve in the season ahead
Hashim Amla plays a shot during his unbeaten 31.
Brendan Taylor looked like he was a whisker away from bursting out in tears after Zimbabwe slumped to a 10-wicket loss against South Africa. Zimbabwe’s campaign in the ICC World Twenty20 2012 ended just two days into the tournament, at a time when five teams haven’t even taken the field in the main competition.
For Taylor and the Zimbabwe team, at least four flights now beckon – chopper from Hambantota to Colombo and then on to Harare via Dubai and Johannesburg. “We came here to win games, and to end on the note we have is very disappointing. The sun comes up tomorrow, and unfortunately we head home,” said Taylor. “There’s a long way to go for us and there’s a lot of cricket to be played next year. We just want to keep trying to improve and improve in different conditions.”
The loss, Zimbabwe’s 14th straight defeat in Twenty20 Internationals, was a result of a collective failure of batting, bowling and fielding. “We went wrong in all three departments. We dropped chances and were sloppy in the field, leaked runs with the ball and didn’t score many runs with the bat,” conceded Taylor. “You’re not going to win games like that. All in all our cricket was way below par, and against quality opposition you’re not going to stand a chance.”
Taylor wished his team had more cricket at hand, if nothing, for a chance to show the world what they are capable of. “We’d love a couple more games just to prove that we are a far better cricketing side. But that’s not to be,” said Taylor. “World Cups are tough cricket, but we’ll go home with our heads held high and bounce back strongly next time the World Cup comes around. It’s always a learning curve for us, so we’ll take something out of it.”
Zimbabwe struggled against spin when it played Sri Lanka and was found wanting by South Africa’s pace. Taylor believed that conditions could hold the key to how far each Zimbabwe’s first-round opponents would go. “It’s very unpredictable, Twenty20, but Sri Lanka are certainly one of the favourites. They understand their conditions very well,” said Taylor. “If there’s a bit of liveliness in the pitch, with that sort of South African bowling attack, they’re going to be very hard to beat I think. Their batsmen are world class too. I see both teams getting to the semi finals at least.”