HARARE – Zimbabwe A cricket side captain Sikandar Raza is pleased with his side’s batting performance during yesterday’s two-wicket win over Canada in the first one-day match.
Canada won the toss and elected to bat first before posting a total of 248 for six in their allotted 50 overs.
Opener Bhavindu Adhihetty (70) and Nikhil Dutta (34) not out top scored for the tourists while Raza was the pick of the bowlers for the home side with figures of 2/41 from 10 overs.
Tendai Chatara, Nathan Waller and Solomon Mire all picked up a wicket apiece.
In response, Zimbabwe had a shaky start to their chase after losing wickets at regular intervals before opener Chamu Chibhabha formed two crucial partnerships.
Chibhabha finished his innings with a score of 65 after he had been stumped by Canada’s wicketkeeper Hamza Tariq of Dutta.
The national team batsman combined for a third wicket partnership with Sean Williams worth 84 runs.
Chibhabha’s fourth wicket partnership with PJ Moor contributed 72 runs.
However, after his dismissal in the 37th over, Zimbabwe wobbled a bit before the sixth wicket partnership of 74 runs between Malcolm Waller and Timycen Maruma.
In the end, Zimbabwe crossed the finish line with Wellington Masakadza and Chris Mpofu on the crease with only 11 deliveries and two wickets remaining.
“As a batting unit, we discussed that we need to be finishing the games more clinically,” Raza said after the match.
“I think the guys will be honest enough to say there was a time when it looked liked we are winning the game convincingly to find ourselves in a bit of bother.
“But having said that, to win a game you need to show a bit of character. Even though it was a tail end; a team is made up of 11 players.
“To see everyone showing faith in every maturing player is good. As you can still here from the noise is still coming down from our changing room; the mood is a bit crazy and happy.”
Chibhabha was pleased with his knock as it set up a good platform for the side to win.
“Scoring some runs in Namibia and coming into this game, my mentality was the same to just try and bat through the innings,” he said
“However, we lost a few wickets at the beginning and I just had to bat as deep as I could but its unfortunate I got out at a crucial stage of the game.
“The most important thing was to try and get partnerships whichever way and it was important for us to do that to give the finishers a platform to win the game.”
Canada captain Tariq said: “I think there is a lot of room for improvement. I think we could have added more runs with our batting. Our field too under pressure was not good; we fumbled a few balls. If we had done those a little bit better, we could have come out on top.”
The next one-day match between the two side is on tomorrow at the same venue.