One has to admit ~ Zimbabwe cricket is looking healthy & hungry once again since the retirement/exit of Heath Streak, Andy Flower, Neil Johnson, Grant Flower, Henry Olonga and Murry Goodwin almost a decade ago. These days, likes of Raymond Price, Brendon Taylor, Tatenda Taibu and Greg Cremer have the potential to push international performers while Hamilton Masakadza, Craig Ervine and Prosper Utseya look good prospects. With Andy Blignaut given a chance to revive his lost cricketing career, African nation seems to be headed upwards for the first time in a long time..
Although not expected to win everyday as yet, Zimbabweans have to learn how to make a statement in each match they play at highest level, and avoid throwing games away carelessly like they did against Sri Lanka the other day. Zim were no competition to seniors SL in match 3 of Micromaxx cup triseries yesterday, failing to bat out their quota of 26 overs which, if continued, poses a threat of disheartening them to death once again.
In a rain curtailed match yesterday, Zimbabweans were invited in to bat first by Tillakaratane Dilshan who looked awake and aggressive in his second game as captain of Sri Lanka. Hamilton Masakadza looked in sublime touch but his opening partner, Taylor, disappoined and soon Greg Lamb was caught by Jeevan Mendis off Ajantha Mendis.
Masakadza now had left handed Ervine with him, looking solid against seamers but sleepy against spinners. Lankan skipper had smelled the blood by now, seen spin off Queens sports club ground in Bulawayo and brought up his in-form spinner Suraj Randiv. Randiv bowled 5 overs back to back, bamboozling Zimbabwe batting, taking 3 wickets.
Masakadza was 9th batsman out, top scoring with 62 while only other three double figure contributors were Lamb (10), Coventry (11) and extras (13).
Sri Lankans targetted bonus point right from the begining of their chase. Since it was a rain reduced match of 26 overs per side with powerplays of 5, 4 & 3 overs, Lankan openers Upul Tharanga & Dilshan played their shots well after Chris Mpofu bowled a maiden first over.
Tharanga was runout by Prosper Utseya but Dilshan continued, remaining unbeaten on 60 and seeing his team to the top of triseries table through a win with bonus point.
The scoresZimbabwe 118 all out in 24.5 overs
Masakadza 62, Randiv 3/23, Mendis 2/12
Sri Lanka 199/1 in 15.2 ovs (won by 9 wkts)
Tillakaratane Dilshan 60 no, Upul Tharanga 40
Full scorecard : Zim v SL, triseries game 3, 1/6/2010.