Confident Zimbabwe see ‘huge’ chance to make T20 World Cup semis

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Zimbabwe players celebrate after beating Pakistan by one run in a T20 World Cup Group 2 match in Perth on Thursday

Brisbane – Confident skipper Craig Ervine said Saturday that Zimbabwe had a “huge” chance to reach the Twenty20 World Cup semi-finals, praising new coach Dave Houghton for instilling belief in the team.

The African nation, who came through the first round in Australia to make the Super 12, pulled off a stunning one-run upset over Pakistan on Thursday.

It came on the back of them sharing the points with South Africa from a washed-out game, leaving them level on three points with the Proteas and one behind Group 2 leaders India.

Zimbabwe face Bangladesh next in Brisbane on Sunday, followed by the Netherlands and heavyweights India.

“Look, we’ve got a huge chance to make the semis,” said Ervine.

“Again, it requires us to win against Bangladesh and also to beat (the) Netherlands, and then we’ve got our final game against India, and depending on some other results.”

“The guys, obviously got their tails up,” he added. “We’ve got a lot of confidence obviously with the win against Pakistan, but we just know how fragile this game is and how quickly it can turn around.

“But we can’t look too far ahead right now. I think we’re probably just looking at tomorrow and trying to concentrate on tomorrow’s game.”

Craig Ervine

Zimbabwe are in the Super 12 for the first time, turning a corner since Houghton, the country’s first Test captain back in 1992, was appointed for his second stint as national coach in July.

He steered them through the qualifying tournament and to a point where Ervine is talking about a semi-final chance.

Ervine said Houghton, considered one of Zimbabwe’s best batsmen, had brought a new approach, along with huge respect.

“When Dave took over, he basically changed the way that we did our training, and installed a lot of belief back into each and every player,” he said.

“Every time he speaks, you can just look around the room and you can tell that everybody is paying attention. Everybody is taking it in. Everybody respects him.

“He’s managed to just change the mentality of every single player in the squad, and I think through the performances, I think it’s reassured everybody that what Dave is doing for us works.”

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