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Women’s cricket team optimistic

BY MAGRETH RUZVIDZO

ZIMBABWE National Women’s Cricket team coach Adam Chifo will try to build on the positives from their 32-run defeat to South Africa’s emerging side when the two square up for the second match at Bulawayo’s Queens Sports Club this morning.

The hosts, who are heavily depleted following the withdrawal of key players owing to various reasons, put up a brave fight as they tried to chase the winning target of 232.

South Africa’s 232 was built on the foundations of a century by Andrie Steyn who made 100 while Anneke Bosch and Nondumiso Shagase fell short of half tones on 46 and 43, respectively.

Tasmeen Granger took three wickets, while Precious Marange had one as Zimbabwe claimed seven scalps.

On the batting front, stand-in skipper Josephine Nkomo made an unbeaten 70 from 113 balls, while Marange fell nine short of a half century.

Despite the setback, Chifo was pleased with the effort from his charges.

“We are happy with our yesterday’s (Monday) performance. Despite losing the match, we had a lot of positives from both individual and team performance,” he said.

“I think our bowlers bowled well with a few loose deliveries here and there. Precious Marange was not only economical, but she managed to exert a lot of pressure on the South African batters. Tasmeen Granger was superb in breaking the first partnership which had looked very dangerous and again she bowled with a decent economy.

“Josephine Nkomo provided the pace on one end, while Nomvelo Sibanda complemented her at the death to restrict South Africa to 232, which was chaseable because the wicket looked quite a batting one so 232 was a good score to chase for us.”

Chifo was pleased with the recovery after Zimbabwe lost two wickets early, with the departure of  Chiedza Dhururu and Modester Mupachikwa.

“Josephine Nkomo and Christabel Chatonzwa came in the middle and stabilised the innings and it got us back into the game,” he said, adding that they were still working to improve from the previous match.

“Going into the next match, we are looking to improve from where we left in the first match, particularly paying attention to our top order batters, building partnerships as well as looking to rotate strike more in the middle overs,” Chifo said.

“I can say our performance from the first game has given the ladies reason to believe in themselves and trust their skills so we are very hopeful that we will continue to improve as the series progresses.”

After today’s match, the two teams clash in the third one on Saturday and the fourth is set for next Monday, while the final match is on May 26.

The team is preparing for the International Cricket Council Women’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier scheduled for Sri Lanka in December.

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