Zimbabwe’s famous superover away victory against Pakistan last month has placed the country in a strong position for automatic qualification for the 2021 ICC World Cup.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
The Chevrons sat fourth in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points table behind Australia, England and Pakistan with 10 points from three matches in the recent update.
While the position is a major boost for the country, top teams such as South Africa, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and West Indies were yet to play a single match by Tuesday last week when the standings were published by the ICC.
Teams that finish in the top seven will join hosts India at the global event while the remaining five teams, along with five Associate sides, will play in the 2022 Cricket World Cup Qualifier, from which two teams will go through to the World Cup.
Inspired by the exploits of lanky fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani, Zimbabwe needed a super-over to beat Pakistan and open their account in the Super league in the final match of the ODI series.
Zimbabwe ODI captain Chamu Chibhabha had made clear the team’s intention to push for automatic World Cup qualification prior to the Pakistan tour.
The cricket side is scheduled to play only three big teams Australia, Sri Lanka and India in the league that concludes in March 2022.
Other teams the Chevrons are scheduled to face include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands.
The Aaron Finch-led Australia side moved to the top of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League points table following their 2-1 victory over India last week.
Hosts Australia beat India for a 2-1 series win and jumped to No.1 with 40 points. India won the last game of the series and are placed at the No.6 position with nine points.
Australia were clinical in their approach with stellar performances in all departments, defeating the Virat Kohli-led India in the first two games of the series.
In the third ODI at Canberra on Tuesday last week, debutant T Natarajan from India dismissed Marnus Labuschagne to pick up his maiden international wicket after half-centuries from Kohli, all-rounder Hardik Pandya (92*) and Ravindra Jadeja (66*).
The performances helped India to a 13-run win.
Australia had defeated England 2-1 in their previous series of the 13-team championship, which was introduced this year to bring context to ODI cricket and also to decide the seven direct qualifiers for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.
India, though assured of a berth as hosts, were to use the opportunity for long-term preparation.
Reigning World Cup winners England are second in the points table with 30 points. They defeated Ireland 2-1 in the opening series of the championship before losing by the same margin to five-time world champions Australia.
Pakistan are also on 20 points after a 2-1 series win over Zimbabwe, who secured 10 points for their superover win in the final ODI played in Rawalpindi.
— ICC Media