Zim batsmen on a roll!
BULAWAYO – Another clinical performance by Zimbabwe saw them snatch victory from the potential jaws of defeat.
The reason for saying this, is that after the disappointment of the first ODI many people were of the opinion that Zimbabwe’s poor form against Bangladesh in Bulawayo was going to continue, and that Bangladesh would go on to win the ODI series.
But, it just goes to show what happens when players consistently perform.
Bangladesh were under the pump for most of the match, though one has to give a huge amount of credit to Nasir Hossain.
Bangladesh have found a real gem and there is no doubting that he is going to become a world class player.
He was the only Bangladeshi batsman who showed consistency through out the series, ending with an impressive 167 runs in the three matches.
For once, the left arm spinner Abdur Razzak posed very little threat, which didn’t help Bangladesh in any way whatsoever.
The inclusion of Brian Vitori proved to be a very good one, his lively pace and swing proved to be a real handful for Bangladesh on a wicket that had good bounce and pace in the morning, but, then turned into a very good batting track in the afternoon.
But, regardless of the nature and quality of the pitch, Zimbabwe once again went about their business in a professional manner, making the relatively good total seem inadequate.
Vusi Sibanda’s 103* was by far and away his best innings in the Zimbabwean shirt, his combination of attack and defence was outstanding, and when he pounced on the bad ball, his shot selection was breath taking.
He showed tremendous power square of the wicket, and pure timing when playing down the ground.
Once again, the team showed calmness and composure when Bangladesh were beginning to apply preasure which eventually led to the loss of Butt and Taylor who seems determined to persevere with the reverse sweep, even though it has got him into trouble on more than one occasion.
There are those who will argue that these performances were only against Bangladesh, and the reply to that would be, so what!
Bangladesh are no longer the push over outfit of the late nineties and early 2000’s, they have developed into a dangerous team in the one day format, with classy players and an improving infrastructure.
And more importantly, Bangladesh are now ranked higher than Zimbabwe in all forms of cricket. So, a win against them is a very good result.
Zimbabwe have had a number of players who deserve special mention.
Tendai Chatara showed that he is capable of bowling with the new and old ball, which is going to make Chris Mpofu’s return so much harder.
And it would be an unforgivable sin not to mention the part Sean Williams had to play.
Williams has most certainly been no angel throughout his career, his hot-headed and confrontational attitude with the board as well as team-mates have made him a rather unpopular character at times, but there seems to be something different and something new.
He has brought a new energy to his play, which clearly reflects in his body language both in the field, and especially at the crease.
His 78* in the first innings, as well as his 55* were both scored at better than a run a ball, which is exactly what the team and more to the point, the middle order, have been looking for.
It will be interesting to see if Williams has forced the arms of the selectors to include him in the upcoming T20 series, which starts on Saturday. – Dean du Plessis