Home > Zimbabwe > News: Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh by 2 wkts…

News: Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh by 2 wkts…

Actually, I was thinking of making a posting about Zimbabwe when their A team first drew the second 5 day game against Bagnladesh A, and then went a step further and beat them in the last. Things dont look so bad regarding talent in Zimbabwe, even amongst the black population.

However, I think it would only be intelligent to stick with the theory that the problem is in retaining these players once they cross a certain age and start asking for money etc. It is one thing to charm a kid into playing in the national colors, and another to hold onto him. I would have put it towards racism had Taibu not quit. It looks like there is some elite v non elite thing going on over there, not specifically with race, but the whites being 95% of the elites are getting the sharper edge of the stick.

Nonetheless, Chigambura was always talented, I saw him hit around against England in 2004. Matsikenyri was never this effective, but perhaps age is maturing him into a better player. Zimbabwe should have opened with Sibanda and Rinke, dont know why Chibabha, who was so effective at 1 down, was tried as an opener. A good thing about Zimbabwe is that they are still without Douglas Hondo, Tinashe Payangara, Christopher Mpofu (who was dropped actually). I have never seen Rainsford, but it looks like he is fairly pacey, as is Mupariwa. And what is the average age of this Zim side? 21? 20? Things are not looking bad for them, given that they can hold onto their players, which, given the current administrations history, they probably cant.

Ideal Zimbabwe side would be:

Taylor (WK)

Matsikenyri can be the second spin option if the wicket is supportive, otherwise Chigambura should bowl his quota of 10 medium pacers. Now the trick for Zim would be to give this side a lot of exposure, which I cant see them doing given that they hardly have a series after this Bangladesh one. But if they win this, maybe it will give them enough confidence to schedule some more, and if no one is availalble, perhaps against the new associates (higher than Bermuda and Canada though).

Categories: Zimbabwe
  1. Ram
    July 29, 2006 at 12:12 pm


    Actually, I was wondering where to make a mention of Zim’s victory against Ban but it’s good that you made a post yourself…

    Well, I don’t know whether to take the positives of Zim’s win or the minuses of Ban’s defeat from this ODI…Not long back, Kenya went into the ODI series against Zim as favorites by virtue of being the more experienced team only to return disappointed with a 2-2 verdict..Their subsequent tour of Ban was a disaster for them and when they got thrashed there, many thought Ban had clearly gone a step ahead with their recent ODI performances and that they are now undisputedly the best team outside of the top 8…But, what does this victory convey?

    Does this victory mean that Zim are closer to Ban than to Kenya in terms of cricketing standards or is this just a one-off ODI?..If Zim can defeat a nation that has defeated two Test teams in ODIs in the last one year and even was on the verge of causing Test cricket’s biggest upset, is it fair to call their national team club-standard?….How will the European Associates fit into the current scheme of things?…I would even like to see Zim’s performance IN Ban when they tour them for an ODI series in December this year..I think Ban seem have a problem adjusting to alien conditions which is why they are able to defeat Srilanka and give Aus more than a fight at home but go on and lose to Zim there..

    It’s well known that Zim never had a problem in getting talent, especially in their bowling department and that problems beyond cricket have stiffled their growth…But, can the ICC afford to play the waiting game on them, just because playing numbers have never been higher in their cricketing history?…If Zim do go on and defeat Ban in this ODI series, will it be fair to keep them suspended from Test cricket on cricketing standards while Ban continue to play Tests?

  2. sandeep
    July 29, 2006 at 3:54 pm

    iam pleasantly surprised by zimbabwe’s C team performance .even after losing so much talent they are still very competetive with bangladesh

    another interesting thing to note from the match is crowd attendence . while cricinfo expected couple of hundred diehard fans to attend the match on contrary they are couple of thousand spectators in the ground min 2000 max 4000 people and 95%of crowd are blacks and very few are whites.
    they r couple of hundred school children brought to the ground to boost the crowd attendence but still vast majority of the crowd are in the age group of 25 to 35 and black
    and when Chigambura hit the ball for four many spectators overcame the police baricades and invaded the pitch and carried Chigambura to the dressing room. which just shows there is still passion in zimbabwe.

  3. July 29, 2006 at 9:44 pm

    Sandeep, thanks for the clarification.

    Ram, I am not sure if Matsikenyri, Chigambura, Rainsford, Mupariwa and Chibabha were all playing in that Kenyan series. Not sure about Masakadza either, will have to check the scorecards. But these people have significantly boosted Zim recently. Kenya currently is 14-4 against Canada who made 235 after being 89/5. So I guess there is no prize for guessing who is weaker than whom. Kenya is weaker than all European associates, and also apparently Zim at the momment in my opinion.

    But lets wait and see what Zim does in the series. If they can win the series, it will be hilarious. Bangladesh, the losers, would be saying that they DESERVE test status, while Zim, the winners, would have suspended themselves from test because they feel they are not upto test standard !

    But Bangladesh were not playing Syed Rasel, who I think should always be playing for them. Tommorrow we will know more.

  4. July 29, 2006 at 10:01 pm

    Ram, I just checked….. Mupariwa, Matsikenyri or Chibhaba were not there in the 2 games team that they lost to Ken….. Chigambura wasnt there in one of them……

    But we may be jumping the gun here, perhaps Zim will lose series 4-1……. but the good thing is what Sandeep has mentioned….. about 4K people in the ground………

  5. Ram
    July 29, 2006 at 11:25 pm


    With Zim having so much talent, would the absence of 3 key players make a difference? šŸ™‚

    Actually, One thing that perplexes me is why Ban, with so much public interest and high playing numbers, not to mention a much better political scenario, have struggled to make rapid improvements in their cricketing standards, like what Afghanistan and Nepal have shown in the last 3-4 years..

    About jumping the gun, yes I still think Ban will win the series but that maybe more because of their much higher experience and NOT necessarily because of superior talent.

    About your comparisons on Zim’s and Ban’s Test status, I think that’s a question of perspective…While Zim have been on a permanent free fall over the last 5 years, Ban are on the up over the same period, even though in terms of pure talent, there may not be much between the two at the moment..Having said that, we would still expect Ban to pull off the odd ODI victory or take a first-innings lead in a Test against one of the top 8 while we would be satisfied if Zim don’t fold for double-digit scores in ODIs..Zim badly need experience but must remember that no amt of cricket will give them that if they keep losing players at the rate they’ve managed to…

    Finally, about the crowd attendance, I’m not totally surprised by this because thanks to their political scenario, cricket, like soccer, is slowly becoming a part of the Zim culture, whose black majority has been totally indifferent to the game all these years….Btw, was it a free entry or a ticket entry?…And, why was Bulawayo ignored?…5 ODIs may be too much to expect a similar turnout for each and every game..

  6. July 30, 2006 at 12:14 am

    Since Mupariwa, Matsikenyri and Chigambura were the SOLE reason why Zim won the first game, I think it made a difference that none of them was playing in the games that Kenya won, except for one in which Chigambura played.

  7. July 30, 2006 at 1:12 am

    Ram, on your second question about Bangladesh improvements viz a viz nepal and afghanistan, Bangladesh has actually made more progress than Nepal in the last 3-4 years regarding U19 team. National teams always take more time, but Bangladesh has probably done better than Nepal in that regard as well. You have to understand that its one thing to get from level 25 to level 70, which Nepal has done, and another thing to get from level 70 to level 80 that Bangladesh has done. Its get more and more difficult as you keep on improving to improve further.

    Regarding Afghanistan….. no country shoudl be compared with them. The thing is that the level of street cricket in Pakistan is very high. the skills of the kids start getting developed much earlier in their life, and since there is no age grouping in street cricket, young kids get exposed to much more difficult conditions because there opponents are much older. Afghanistan players have all leanrt their cricket in Pakistan, and have taken that skill level back to their country. Hence, they cannot be compared with anyone else.

  8. Ram
    July 30, 2006 at 2:59 am


    If I am right, cricket has been played in Bangladesh for decades, atleast Dhaka has hosted Tests in the 1950s unlike Nepal where cricket has only started to become popular in the last 5 years or so…In this context, I feel Nepal’s improvements are really fast compared to Ban..Also, while Pakistan became a Test nation within 5 years of their formation, Bangladesh got Test status almost three decades after theirs..

  9. Bruce Gaskell
    July 30, 2006 at 4:10 am

    One positive is that if Zimbabwe as a country ever manages to right itself they would have a fairly competitive cricket team once the exiles return, and it would be majority black on merit. In such a situation the team could act a great beacon of hope reunification.
    Alas that day seems a long way off…

  10. sandeep
    July 31, 2006 at 10:10 am

    well the inexperience of zimbabwe c team has finally shown in game 2.
    for the second succesive time zimbabwe has let bangladesh who are reeling at 70-5 off the hook on pitch which is turning more since the last game this coupled with bizarre running by the zimbabwe top order and improved ground fielding by bangladesh ultimately proved the difference.

    another good crowd of about 5000 people .
    i think it free entry to ground .

  11. July 31, 2006 at 10:58 am

    This is pretty much what the Zimbabwe team is going to be, so we should not think too much of whether it is C team or B team. The rebels are not coming back.

    I dont think its a bad thing if the entry was free. The good part is that 5000 people showed up at the ground. In the Ken-Zim series, about 100 people showed up on the average in all 5 games, so this is much much better. Plus I think that if it was a better team than Zim, more would have come.

    Inexperience is a solvable problem. The real question is whether the guys have the skill and the talent. And it looks like Zim is ok from that point of view. Nothing world beating, but passable. They are still making 2 mistakes; opening with Chibhabha, while they should be doing so with Rinke and sending Chibhabha at 1 down, and secdonly not using Chigambura as pace bowler, while trying out nothing part timers like Masakadza.

  12. Ram
    July 31, 2006 at 11:47 pm


    What does the dominance of black players in the Zim team convey?….

    1. Does it mean that the whites, who now have issues more important than cricket to think about, are losing interest in playing the game?

    2. Or, Is the Zim selection policy flawed that more talented whites are not making it to the team?

    3. Or, A genuine growth of the game among the majority, who are now embracing the game in good numbers, substantiated not only by the ICC’s statement that playing numbers in Zim currently are the highest in their history but also by the good crowds that’ve turned up for the two ODIs now?

    Sandeep, I think 5000 is a very good crowd, notwithstanding the facts that it was a Sunday and entry was free…I think the ZCU will make some money here since TV rights to Ban would’ve been in good demand, not to mention the sponsorship money, which ZCU has always managed to attract..But the problem here is what the ZCU does with that money..

  13. August 1, 2006 at 1:09 am

    I dont think Zim selection policy was the problem. It was Zim domestic strucutre that caused the problem. They wanted to open it up in such a way that the game was not restricited to the elites (whites or blacks, though whites are predominantly the elites).

    I would not like to comment on whether the political reasons behind the scenes were right or wrong, because that was Zim’s internal issue. But opening up the game was going to increase particiaption levels, and at the same time reduce the standard of play. So I guess there were arguments on both sides.

    Zim whites were some of the most talented players on this planet. Which such a small player base, they were able to compete at the international level, and used to on and off beat everyone except for Australia, though they ran them very close on 4-5 occasions.

    The other problem was what they were doing with the money. And why they were bankrupt and unable to give contracts to players. Thats a big big problem, talent or no talent, it doesnt augur well for the future of the game there because if youcant hold onto your player, the exodus will continue and the rebuilding would become a yearly festival.

    Zim whites are and were better. But I guess with oppurtunity going only the way of the blacks, it is not going to last long. Plus the whites will probably want to play and migrate to England or South Africa, or to the European associates, because given the current political climate they probably dont want to live in Zim anyway.

  14. Ram
    August 2, 2006 at 9:41 am

    A special win for Zim in the third ODI puts them ahead in this 5 ODI series, thanks to a blinder from Taylor, especially in the last over…To score 18 off the last over and 6 off the last ball against the opposition’s best bowler is some acheivement, which can only do the game good in Zim..Good to hear that the crowd apparently went into a frenzy after the thriller…About the crowd, I think the numbers were lower than the first two ODIs, given that this was a weekday..

  15. Bruce Gaskell
    August 6, 2006 at 1:00 pm

    just to answer Rams questions from what I know:

    1. not losing interest but emigrating as fast as possible. The small white player base is now tiny.

    2. I’m sure that is a factor but talented blacks who don’t toe the line are hardly welcome either.

    3. I hardly believe at face value anything that comes out of Zimbabwe, but crowd numbers seem to suggest a resurgence of interest. If they were free then fine, you have to like Cricket to watch it for a day, but did the regime bus people in (apart from school children)?

  16. August 8, 2006 at 9:25 am

    I think Zim,have done well to win the series 3-2. This gives lots of hope to people that zim can come back into test matches and be a force to be watched. Zim i think should go back into test and only play the weaker test playing nations EG: West Indies. Go ZIMBABWE………

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