ZIMBABWE captain Graeme Cremer has backed his team’s untested opening partnership stand of Peter Moor and Australia-based batsman Solomon Mire to come good after the pair found the going tough during the 12-run lost to Afghanistan via the Duckworth and Lewis method on Thursday.
BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
Sent in to trigger the chase of a modest target of 216 runs, Moor and Mire’s combination lasted just 4.2 overs, managing only 15 runs, with the latter only contributing two as Afghanistan seized the early initiative.
While Moor is a natural top order batsman, the same cannot be said for the returning Mire who is known as a better finisher than a starter.
Cremer, however, argued that the pair needed more time to get going and said they would be retained in the second match of the five-match One Day International (ODI) series at Harare Sports Club this morning.
“We are definitely retaining the opening pair. We want to give the guys a fair run at one position. I don’t think it’s fair to start moving players around so early so it would be good to see if Solomon [Mire] get going in the position, same with PJ [Moor] because they can be both destructive,” he said.
Following last week’s disappointing defeat which left his charges in danger of losing another series at home to a rising Afghanistan side, Zimbabwe coach Heath Streak will be hoping for a reaction from his charges.
The former Zimbabwe captain last week rightfully said that another series defeat to the minnows on home soil would be unacceptable.
And just like in the opening match, the home side would be looking to keep Afghanistan on the back foot with their bowling attack which includes the likes of Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu and 19-year-old left arm seamer Richard Ngarava.
Leg spinner, Cremer, who led from the front by claiming three wickets on a wicket that was not expected to aid the spinners, will be hoping for more of the same to get his team back in the series.
However, while Zimbabwe’s bowling department has looked dangerous, the same cannot be said about the batting line up where the batsmen looked rusty, struggling to keep the scoreboard ticking and giving away their wickets cheaply.
While Afghanistan, will be aiming to repeat the same heroics from the previous match, Zimbabwe will be desperate to roar back and stay alive in the series.
Zimbabwe (Probable line-up): Peter Moor, Solomon Mire, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, Tarisai Musakanda, Malcolm Waller, Graeme Cremer, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava, Chris Mpofu
Afghanistan (From): Mohammad Shahzad(w), Asghar Stanikzai(c), Noor Ali Zadran, Rahmat Shah, Hashmatullah Shahidi, Mohammad Nabi, Najibullah Zadran, Amir Hamza, Rashid Khan, Gulbadin Naib, Dawlat Zadran, Ihsanullah Janat, Samiullah Shenwari, Karim Janat, Fareed Ahmad, Aftab Alam