Deep Backward Point

Blog against the machine.

Tag: Zimbabwe

The Return of Zimbabwe

Former captain Taibu and current captain Taylor

Zim Braintrust: Taibu and Taylor

Meanwhile, in Harare-

Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are playing a full-blooded, evenly matched, positive game of Test cricket. Zimbabwe, playing their first Test match in a while, have made a sporting declaration towards the end of day four. Every single player in their side has justified their spot, and their captain has played to win.

That declaration at tea on day four was one that neither Strauss nor Dhoni would have made. Regardless of what happens on day five, Zimbabwe have made a solid announcement of their presence. Pakistan visit Zimbabwe later this month, and then Zimbabwe tour New Zealand in January. Their bowling seems up to the task.

Bangladesh have fought back more than once in the game. The straight-talking Tamim Iqbal said at the end of day four: “The wicket is flat so if we don’t make mistakes or do anything silly, we should win.” Which is a confident statement, considering they need 263 runs on the final day with 7 wickets in hand.

If ever there was an example of the spirit of cricket, it is not an English batsman being gifted a second chance because he lost his wicket on account of being stupid. The spirit of cricket is alive and well, at the Harare Sports Club.

 

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The Two Most Likely Upsets Play Today

Whoever planned the World Cup schedule had a demented sense of humor. Bangladesh play West Indies and Zimbabwe play New Zealand today in the most likely upsets of the tournament.

Except for anything that Ireland may be involved in.

On a side note, Bangladesh actually outranks West Indies in the ICC ODI rankings.

The Best of the Rest, and Other Lessons From the Warm-Up Games

Everyone is curious about those other cricket-playing countries once every four years. Look how cute the Bermuda team looks in their bright blues. Is Obuya a common name in Kenya? Has Mugabe ruined Zimbabwe yet? They play cricket in Canada? And so forth.

Here’s a handy guide to the best of the rest, based on what happened at the warm-up games this week:

The Best of the Rest

The Best of the Rest: The World Cup Warm-Up Games

Everything clear now?

You will notice, I left Bangladesh out. I think they are a cut above the rest, but they regularly prove me wrong.

Here are the lessons we gained from the warm-up matches this week. You know, the warm-up matches that everyone assures us mean nothing. Except when they win.

  • Canada beat Netherlands. Afghanistan beat Canada. Kenya beat Afghanistan. Netherlands beat Kenya. Ireland beat Zimbabwe, and Zimbabwe beat Ireland. The associates are a most exciting bunch, but only when they play among themselves.
  • Ireland came close to chasing 300 against New Zealand. Canada came close to beating England. Upsets in the World Cup seem inevitable.
  • India Proved they could win a match with the bat as well as the ball.
  • New Zealand’s bowlers enter the World Cup with even less confidence than they had before. Giving up 360 to India is one thing, but 279 to Ireland is criminal. At this point, I wouldn’t mind trading New Zealand and West Indies for a couple of promising associate countries on the international calendar.
  • Australia is in trouble. Plain and simple. They couldn’t take a wicket against South Africa in 46 overs. They couldn’t get past 217 in two attempts. Of course, I’ve said it before, I wouldn’t bet against them. The format of the World Cup allows them to be mediocre for the first four weeks, and surge towards the end. And the Australians can surge.