Zimbabwe Cricket Concludes European Tour With Victory Over Scotland — Some Talking Points To Note

By Ashley Dube 

Zimbabwe finished their European tour with a 6-wicket victory over Scotland, clinching the T20 International series with a  2-1 victory. Milton Shumba played one of the most entertaining innings by a Zimbabwean batsman in recent memory. 

Pic - @Zimcricketv on Twitter

The former U-19 international romped to an unbeaten 66 as he lifted Zimbabwe to the 177 run target set by the Scots. 

His innings comprised 2 fours and 6 sixes, with an impressive strike rate of 227.28. He was supported by fellow youngster Wessly Madhevere who scored 43 until he was controversially run out. Ryan Burl got the winning runs, piercing the off-side with an impressive drive.

The frantic nature of the last T20I characterized the general outlook of Zimbabwe’s European tour as they delivered major talking points both on and off the pitch. 

For starters, legendary Brendan Taylor announced his retirement on the eve of the third ODI against Ireland, calling time on a 17-year international career and finishing such an illustrious career as Zimbabwe’s second highest run scorer in ODI cricket behind Andy Flower (third overall behind the Flower brothers).

Innocent Kaia made a shocking T20 debut against Scotland, a decision which raised eyebrows amongst staunch cricket followers since the 29-year-old was not named in the initial squad for the tour and no explanation was proffered for his inclusion.  

With all the negativity associated with the tour, some positives from the series can be noted. Fast bowler Richard Ngarava showed impressive signs of improvement as he struck to his good line and length. He has also added variations to his seamer arsenal. The left arm pacer shows nerves of steel in defending tight scores as he won the match by defending 7 runs vs Ireland.

Man of the Series, Milton Shumba was the huge surprise following impressive batting performances. Many saw him as a red ball type batsman but he proved all doubters wrong with some excellent batting displays. The 20-year-old played intelligent cricket, playing each ball on merit, manipulating the field very well to get quick singles and twos and also clearing the boundary with relative ease.

Going forward, Zimbabwe should move to build the new side without the likes of senior players such as Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams. 

Former international regulars like Kyle Jarvis and Elton Chigumbura have been appointed as national team scouts tasked to unearth gems set to the don the Chevrons red in the [near and long-term] future.

Experienced Derbyshire coach, Dave Houghton is set to coach in Zimbabwe during the Logan Cup, working with the batsmen. These are welcomed moves in order to improve the overall quality of the team.

Preparations for this year's Logan cup are in full swing as the Matabeleland Tuskers have already started training and are also looking to bolster their squad with Ben Compton from the United Kingdom. 

Australia-based Tafara Mupariwa is back for the Tuskers and has been commended for his attitude and work ethic by Tuskers general manager Nicholas Singo. 

The starting dates for the domestic season are yet to be availed.

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