Zimbabwe gave South Africa a bit of a scare in the third match of the tri-series in Zimbabwe but the South Africans prevailed thanks to a disciplined bowling performance. There are a lot of positives for the Zimbabwe team as Utseya became only the second player from Zimbabwe to take a hat-trick. Things were looking bad for Zimbabwe after a 142 run stand between Amla and De Kock but Utseya brought them back in the match with a hat-trick. Things could have gone Zimbabwe’s way but for some resistance from the South African lower order batsmen. Zimbabwe looks a much better team now than at the start of the series.
Zimbabwe and Australia played the first match of the triangular series with Australia completely dominating the host team. The batting for Zimbabwe was a complete letdown as they lost by 198 runs. However, they would have gained a clot of comfindence from their game against South Africa. The bowlers did an exceptional job though the batsmen felt a bit short for what could have been a great upset win. Australia and South Africa are two of the top teams in limited overs cricket and a win against them can do wonders for the Zimbabwe team.
A big knock is still due for Brendan Taylor who has just scored 10 runs in two innings so far. His dip in form has hurt the Zimbabwe team as the batsmen are not too experienced. Masakadza and Taylor need to forge a good partnership in order to provide some stability to the batting. Both these players need to stand up and deliver for the team if they want to stay in contention for the final. It is a do or die match for Zimbabwe so a much better performance is expected from them against the Aussies this time around.
Australia is coming off a loss against South Africa after having scored 327 runs in the first innings. South Africa marched home pretty easily with more than three overs and 7 wickets to spare. Australia would not have expected to lose so easily after scoring so heavily in the match. Australian bowlers looked lackluster which is a sign of worry. If Zimbabwe can again restrict the Australian batsmen to a decent then it should be an even contest. This is essentially a match between Zimbabwe bowlers against the Australia batsmen in a way.
The beast way for Zimbabwe is to bat first and score over 250 in the match to put pressure on Australia. Australians are not the best players of spin and Zimbabwe needs to exploit this weakness. Zimbabwe has good spinners in the form of Utseya, Nyumbu and even Sean Williams. The trio can put the Australian batsmen under pressure especially if they are chasing a good total. Not many would give Zimbabwe a chance but they have nothing to lose in this match and are playing at home as well. This is their last chance to win to pick up a win so an upset might just be on the cards.
Zimbabwe – 11.00 @ Bet365