BY DANIEL NHAKANISO
After winning the first two matches against United Arab Emirates (UAE), Zimbabwe will be aiming to wrap up the four-match series when they face the visitors again in the third
One-Day International (ODI) at Harare Sports Club today.
Another victory in today’s encounter would put Zimbabwe on the cusp of a series whitewash, which would be enough for the hosts to take some form of revenge against the minnows,
who denied them a place at this year’s ICC World Cup during last year’s qualifiers.
Zimbabwe kicked off the four-match series with a convincing seven-wicket win over the Doug Brown-coached side at Harare Sports Club last Wednesday.
The hosts followed it up with a closely-fought four-run victory courtesy of the Duckworth and Lewis method in the rain affected second ODI at the same venue on Friday.
Zimbabwe have been superior in all the departments in the opening two matches, with the UAE batsmen struggling against the swing of the seam bowling trio of Kyle Jarvis, Donald
Tiripano and Tendai Chatara, who have taken a total of 15 wickets between them in the two ODIs.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s batsmen have also showcased some good performances, with wicketkeeper-batsman Regis Chakabva making a return to form with knocks of 38 and 78 in the two
games, which earned him praises from stand-in captain Peter Moor.
“Regis has been fantastic, he kept wicket very brilliantly in the first game, taking five catches to equal Andy Flower’s record and he’s been an anchor for us,” Moor said after
“Today his innings was not his most fluent, he struggled a little bit to time the ball, but he was still there at the end and that what we are asking of somebody in our top order to bat through the innings, play that anchor role even if it’s a scratchy 50 it’s important to be at the end for us and win games for us,” he added.
Moor also came up with a blistering 33-ball unbeaten 45 en-route to a match-winning partnership with Chakabva, while Craig Ervine too looked in good form in the first match
after scoring a vital 51 off 46 balls.
Zimbabwe will look to continue with their winning momentum and put forth a similar kind of dominant performance as they gave in the first match, but will be wary of the threat
posed by UAE.
UAE’s batting has been a problem area. In both matches, they’ve lost early wickets, being 19 for three in the opening match and 21 for three in the second match.
Yet again in the second game, after a rain break, they lost six wickets for 26 runs and ended up with a modest 169 for 9 in 35 overs. Those late wickets hurt them when the
target was readjusted.
However, they can draw inspiration from the 121-run partnership between wicketkeeperbatsman Ghulam Shabber (56) and Shaiman Anwar (72) in the previous game.
Zimbabwe: Peter Moor (c), Solomon Mire, Regis Chakabva (wk), Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Timycen Maruma, Sikandar Raza, Donald Tiripano, Kyle Jarvis, Brandon Mavuta, Tendai
Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Ainsley Ndlovu, Tony Munyonga, Brian Chari, Chris Mpofu
UAE: Mohammad Naveed (c), Ashfaq Ahmed, Chirag Suri, Rohan Mustafa, Ghulam Shabbir (wk), Shaiman Anwar, Muhammad Usman, Mohammad Boota, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Qadeer Ahmed, CP Rizwan, Zahoor Khan, Amir Hayat.