HomeSportZim batting concerns ahead of World Cup qualifiers

Zim batting concerns ahead of World Cup qualifiers

Zimbabwe will be looking to tame their batting woes as they conclude a disappointing series against Afghanistan in the last of the five-match one-day international (ODI) contest at Sharja Cricket Stadium in the United Arab Emirates today.

By Sports Reporter

Afghanistan, Zimbabwe’s opponents in Group B at the forthcoming 2019 World Cup qualifiers to be hosted in the country in two weeks’ time, have already won the series after taking a 3-1 lead on Friday, following a crashing 10-wicket win.

Zimbabwe take on Afghanistan in their second encounter of the group on March 6 in a tie that is tipped to decide who makes the 2019 England and Wales World Cup.

Heath Streak’s men have struggled against the Afghanistan teenage spinners — Rashid Khan (19) and Mujeeb Zadran (16) — which boosts the Asian country’s hopes of upstaging Zimbabwe on home soil in the qualifiers.

Ever since a forgettable batting performance in the four-day Test against South Africa on December 26, Zimbabwe have struggled in that department.

Zimbabwe have failed to score beyond 200 runs six times in eight ODI innings against Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Interestingly, the Chevrons have won two of their last eight fixtures, first a 10-run victory over Sri lanka in a tri-series that also involved Bangladesh in January as well as a 154-run triumph to level the current series against the Afghans last weekend.

After showing a lot of promise last year under Streak, recording some impressive results against top teams, and luring back former captain Brendan Taylor and strike bowler Kyle Jarvis, expectations were high for the country to do much better.

Today’s dead rubber gives the Zimbabwe batters an opportunity to finish on high with a solid performance as they head home for the World Cup qualifiers.

Batsmen Hamilton Masakadza, Solomon Mire, Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl and Tarisai Musakanda, who have been inconsistent with the bat, are all expected to rise to the occasion.

Zimbabwe play their first warm-up match against Ireland on March 1 at Queens Sports Club before entertaining Papua New Guinea the following day.

Zimbabwe’s ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier

fixtures:

Sunday March 4: Zimbabwe v Nepal (Queens Sports Club).

Tuesday March 6: Zimbabwe v Afghanistan (Queens Sports Club).

Saturday March 10: Zimbabwe v Hong Kong (Queens Sports Club).

Monday March 12: Zimbabwe v Scotland (Bulawayo Athletic Club).

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