Oct 202018
BD nervous of Zimbabwe upset in ODIs

DHAKA: Bangladesh captain Mashrafe Mortaza warned his players against complacency ahead of the start of a One-Day International series against outsiders Zimbabwe on Sunday (today).Zimbabwe go into Sunday’s game in Dhaka as whipping boys of international cricket after losing every match during a recent tour of South Africa.The visitors have not won a One-Day International in Bangladesh since 2010.“If we win everyone will say this is what should have happened. But if we lose they will take it differently,” said Mortaza, whose team are seventh in the world rankings against Zimbabwe’s 11th. “It can create pressure at the back of the mind. It’s not as though we have never lost to Zimbabwe.”Mortaza said the three match series — with two more 50 over games in Chittagong on Wednesday and Friday — would be doubly important as Bangladesh have only four more series to prepare for next year’s World Cup in England.“They have almost all their senior players back and outside Zimbabwe they have the best record in Bangladesh. So we have to give 100%,” he said.An eight-wicket loss in Friday’s warm-up against a Bangladesh Cricket Board XI did not help the visitors’ morale, but Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza insisted his side was not despondent. “We didn’t have a great time in South Africa or in the match yesterday. But the main thing is to focus on tomorrow and to focus on the tour and what we have come to achieve,” he said.

Dec 272017
SA sink Zimbabwe in two days

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa: South Africa crushed Zimbabwe by an innings and 120 runs inside two days in their one-off day-night Test at St George’s Park on Wednesday. Forced to follow on after being bowled out for 68 in their first innings, Zimbabwe were shot out for 121 runs in their second innings. The match ended before the scheduled dinner break on the second day. Fast bowler Morne Morkel was the destroyer in the first innings, taking five for 21, but medium-pacer Andile Phehlukwayo and left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj engineered the second-innings collapse. Phehlukwayo took three for 13 and Maharaj claimed five for 59, with stand-in captain AB de Villiers seemingly using his front-line fast bowlers sparingly so they could take advantage of the helpful conditions under floodlights. In the end they weren’t needed. Zimbabwe put up a fight at the start of their second innings, reaching 54 before they lost their first wicket, although opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza was forced to retire hurt after being struck on the right elbow by a ball from Morkel. The total reached 75 for one before the innings imploded, with four wickets falling in 14 balls. The last nine wickets fell for 46 runs in 15.4 overs. South Africa needed just 68 minutes and 14.1 overs on Wednesday to take Zimbabwe’s remaining six first-innings wickets after they resumed on 30 for four. Nightwatchman Kyle Jarvis was the top scorer for Zimbabwe, making 23. Morkel, who took the first three wickets under floodlights on [Read More…]

Dec 242017
De Villiers ready for Zimbabwe, India

PORT ELIZABETH: South Africa’s batting icon AB de Villiers says his near two-year Test break has enabled him to prepare thoroughly for his comeback in a one-off day-night Test against Zimbabwe, starting on Tuesday. “I’ve had a great pre-season, which I haven’t had for 13 years,” he said in an interview with South Africa’s Sunday Times newspaper. The big challenge for De Villiers and his teammates, though, is what happens after the four-day clash against Zimbabwe – a three-Test tour by number one team India, starting in Cape Town on January 5. “I’m very excited that they are going to be touring in South Africa. I haven’t played against India for a while now, so it’s going to be a really good series,” said De Villiers. India will be led by his Indian Premier League teammate Virat Kohli.

Dec 242017
Selection challenge for SA against Zimbabwe

PORT ELIZABETH, South Africa: Selection is likely to be South Africa’s biggest challenge ahead of their one-off day-night Test against Zimbabwe starting at St George’s Park tomorrow (Tuesday). Zimbabwe are unlikely to stretch the home side but South Africa, ranked second in Test cricket, will want to establish their best XI in this four-day Test ahead of a three-match series against India, starting in Cape Town on January 5. With the return of AB de Villiers and Dale Steyn after long absences from Test cricket, and with all South Africa’s front-line fast bowlers fit for the first time in more than a year, coach Ottis Gibson described the selection issue as “a good nightmare”. Six or seven batsmen? Three or four fast bowlers? A spin bowler? An all-rounder? These are all questions that will be troubling Gibson and his fellow selectors.The situation is complicated by South Africa’s unique racial balancing act, with Cricket South Africa committed to having an average of six players of colour, including two black Africans, in their starting teams. Three black Africans – batsman Temba Bavuma, all-rounder Andile Phehlukwayo and fast bowler Kagiso Rabada – played in South Africa’s most recent Test matches, two one-sided encounters against Bangladesh. But with batsman De Villiers and fast bowlers Steyn, Vernon Philander and Morne Morkel back in the mix, only Rabada of the three seems guaranteed to start in what should be another lop-sided contest. Assuming captain Faf du Plessis is passed fit after recovering from shoulder surgery, it [Read More…]