After The T20 World Cup Qualifier Victory, Tougher Tests Now Await The Chevrons

 By Ashley Dube 

Dave Houghton and his troops proved to be a cut above the Associate nations as Zimbabwe Cricket romped to a 5 match winning streak securing World Cup qualification in the process. It was Houghton’s first assignment since he took over from the Indian Lalchand Rajput; one in which he passed with flying colours.

Credited with excellent player management, the players seemed to have taken on board as they displayed a new pro-active approach in their matches. Veterans Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams led from the front as the pair finished amongst the tournament’s top run-getters. Sikandar Raza was named player of the tournament. 

Raza also starred excellently with the bowling particularly in the final where he finished with figures of 4-8. The series came with its own fair share of blows as the Chevrons lost two thirds of their seam bowling trio. Tendai Chatara fractured his collarbone and no timeline has been set for his return whilst Blessing Muzarabani has been ruled out for the next five weeks.

Zimbabwe will now shift focus to back-to-back home series against Bangladesh and India set for July-August. 

Bangladesh will tour Zimbabwe for a 6 match white ball series (three One Day Internationals and three T20s). The first T20 is scheduled for 30th July. The Tigers will provide a sterner test as they are in red hot form following a successful tour to the Caribbean islands where they faced West Indies. All matches will be played at Harare Sports Club.

The India series will commence a few days after as the Chevrons will host them for three one day internationals. These matches are part of the ICC World Cup Super League which provides direct qualification to next year’s World Cup to be played in India.

Zimbabwe will then tour Australia for more Super League matches from 28 August to the third of September. 

This will be the first time Zimbabwe will go down under in almost 18 years for a bilateral series. The T20 world cup will then follow in October which is set to be held in Australia. Zimbabwe will square off against West Indies, Scotland and Ireland with the top 2 proceeding to the Super 12.

Immediate selections concerns are still to identify replacements for the injured pacers. Tanaka Lance Chivanga showed promise against Afghanistan. 

The selectors may also count on the experience of Donald Tiripano and if the domestic figures are anything to go by, Brad Evans has an outside chance to make the ODI squad following his debut T20 series against Namibia.

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