BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
The Zimbabwe cricket team will be looking to bounce back from a dismal One-Day International (ODI) series loss to an associate member Netherlands as the two teams play the first of the two-match T20 series in Rotterdam, Netherlands, this afternoon.
Coached by Indian Lalchand Rajput, Zimbabwe conclude their disappointing engagement with the minnows on Tuesday when the second T20 match will be played.
Zimbabwe were whitewashed 2-0 by the Dutch, who convincingly won by seven wickets in the first ODI before sealing a series victory with a closely contested
three-wicket triumph on Friday.
Netherlands recorded their highest run chase in ODI cricket shrugging off a mid-inning wobble to get the required 291 runs to win with four balls to spare.
Save for former captain Brendan Taylor who struck a half century in both innings, Zimbabwe struggled for consistency with the bat during the ODI series.
Taylor struck 71 and 51 in both innings respectively, while Craig Ervine chipped in and Sikandar Raza recorded half centuries in the second ODI.
Veteran left arm spinner Sean Williams was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers in the series claiming a total of six wickets, including four for 43 in the second
Tiripano claimed two wickets in two matches, while Ansley Ndlovu and Tendai Chatara had one apiece as bowlers generally struggled for scalps.
The T20 contest should be an interesting one as Zimbabwe in 13th place are a notch above Netherlands on the rankings, in the shortest version of the game.
A win for Zimbabwe will go a long way in boosting their confidence ahead of the tour of Ireland for three ODIs and three T20s, which begins next week.
Ireland are stronger opponents in ODI cricket where they are one spot behind Zimbabwe on the rankings.
This will be Zimbabwe’s last confirmed engagement for the year with the team scheduled to tour India in January 2020.