Impressive Chevrons face spin challenge against inform Sri Lanka

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Sri Lanka spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and Zimbabwe batting stalwart Sean Williams will face off in the ICC World Cup Qualifier Super Six match at Queens Sports Club on Sunday

Harare – Zimbabwe’s bid to qualify for the World Cup is set to face its sternest test when they face an inform Sri Lanka side in a crucial International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup Qualifier Super Six clash at Queens Sports Club on Sunday.

Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, who are both on six points in the Super Six stage are the only sides still with a perfect record in the qualifying tournament and the winner in Sunday’s match will almost be guaranteed qualification for the World Cup.

Buoyed by their impressive home support, the Chevrons have put themselves on the verge of qualification for the global showpiece in India with five dominant performances en-route to today’s penultimate match.

But Sunday’s opponents Sri Lanka represent a very different challenge for Zimbabwe’s batting line-up which has dominated in their matches thus far.

Sri Lanka’s progress to the final four has been built on the brilliance of the bowling unit, and more specifically a two-pronged spin attack of Wanidu Hasaranga, who is the highest wicket taker in the tournament with 20 wickets and Morawakage Theekshana who has nine.

However its not just Sri Lanka who carry threat with the ball however, and a varied Zimbabwe attack will be hopeful of causing Sri Lanka’s shaky batting line-up some problems, with left-armer Richard Ngarava a real wicket-taking option first up.

And with the bat Zimbabwe have shown extreme attacking intent throughout the tournament, arguably more than any of the other 10 sides at the World Cup qualifying tournament.

Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine was quick to highlight that while they have a lot of respect for the Sri Lankan spinners, they have a plan to nullify their threat on Sunday.

“I think tomorrow is going to be a good contest between their spinners and our batters who have been generally good at playing spin,” Ervine said during the pre-match Press conference on Saturday.

Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine

“I think sometimes you don’t wanna pop those names too much and walk out being fearful of getting out. At the end of the day they are also human beings although they are good players. We have a few plans that we would like to put in place it’s going to be interesting how it goes,” he added.

Zimbabwe’s batting department has performed admirably in all their matches in the qualifiers with Sean Williams, undoubtedly their best player having scored three centuries in addition to another big innings of 91 runs.

The hosts have also been buoyed by solid batting displays by Ervine, the team’s poster boy Sikandar Raza as well as the pair of Joylord Gumbie and Ryan Burl while all-rounder Luke Jongwe also impressed on Thursday.

In addition to impressing with his spin bowling Raza has also amassed 260 runs in four innings, including breaking the record for the fastest century by a Zimbabwean, which achieved in just 54 balls against Netherlands.

“Sean form has been phenomenal he is such a quality player and he scores at such a high strike rate which takes a lot of pressure off the guy at the other end and he can play his normal game. He is the key to holding that middle order together. What has worked for us is the first ten overs to give guys like Sean and Raza the platform,” Ervine noted.

While a victory against Sri Lanka will put Zimbabwe on the verge of qualification for the World Cup all hope would not be lost if they lose on Sunday as they would still have another opportunity to punch their ticket against Scotland on Tuesday.

However, the Chevrons will be eager to get the job done on Sunday.

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