A slightly disappointing tournament saw Zimbabwe comprehensively beat those ranked below them but lose to those ranked higher, giving them 11th place overall.
Beat PNG by 10 wickets
Lost to Australia by 7 wickets
Lost to India by 10 wickets
Beat Namibia by 7 wickets
9th place play-off semi-final
Lost to Sri Lanka by 5 wickets
11th place play-off
Beat Canada by 138 runs
Positives to take home?
Zimbabwe showed a gulf in class between themselves and the less established nations in the tournament, dispatching PNG by 10 wickets and Namibia by seven wickets, before ending on a real high in the 11th place play-off. Canada had beaten the same teams as Zimbabwe coming into the final match, and might have felt the battle to be an even one. But Zimbabwe piled on 272/8 before bowling the North Americans out for 134, to romp home by 138 runs as Wesley Madhevere showed again that he’s one to watch.
Areas for improvement?
They’ll have been disappointed not to compete more fully with the full member nations. Neither Australia, India nor Sri Lanka had too much trouble defeating Zimbabwe, the former two in particular brushing them aside with ease in the group stages. Against Sri Lanka, they were at least in the game, having made 259/4 from their 50, but none of the bowlers were able to make enough of an impression, and Sri Lanka got home with four-and-a-half overs to spare. They need more sustained, consistent contributions throughout the side to put more pressure on the better teams.
Wesley Madhevere was a consistent performer for Zimbabwe, often helping them to a solid start at the top of the order and chipping in with useful wickets with his off-spin. He saved his best till last against Canada, hitting 93 off 84 balls and taking 4/24 from 7.5 overs. Against PNG he scored 53* and took 3/19, while versus Namibia he scored 47 and took 2/11. If he hadn’t made a duck against Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe might have fancied their chances of an upset.
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