Zimbabwe cricket team rising star Wessly Madhevere says he was delighted to make the most of an unexpected opportunity after scoring a career-best high score of 72 off 91 balls during the first One Day International (ODI) against Australia in Townsville on Sunday.
The 21-year-old right-handed batsman was set to miss out on the opening match at the Riverway Stadium after a difficult run of form with the bat during the recent ODI series against Bangladesh and India.
In fact, Madhevere has already been told that he would not feature in the match before a last-minute elbow injury to veteran allrounder Sean Williams saw him being included in the playing eleven on the morning of the match.
“I was told yesterday that I wasn’t going to play but found out this morning that Sean [Williams] wasn’t doing too well with an elbow (injury), that’s when the coach told me l was going to play…I normally get nervous the day before when I know I’m playing, but today I was kind of relaxed,” Madhevere revealed.
The Chitungwiza-born player took full advantage of the lifeline as he reached his fifty off 67 balls on his way to a gusty 72 off 91 balls against a star-studded Australia bowling attack which included the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Adam Zampa.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) August 28, 2022
Madhevere’s knock helped Zimbabwe reach 200 all-out in 47.3 overs after being set in to bat first but ultimately his career-best knock was in vain as Zimbabwe went down to Australia by five wickets in their first match played on Sunday at Riverway Stadium in Townsville.
The top-order batsman and offspinner, who played most of his school’s cricket in South Africa where he captained St Charles College of Pietermaritzburg said he was unfazed at facing Australia’s pace bowlers as he was exposed to similar conditions in South Africa.
“I think (the pitch) was a little bit two-paced, there was a bit of grass on the wicket. But to be honest I enjoyed it. pretty much similar conditions to the South African type of wickets. I was exposed to those types of conditions when I was at school. It was nice to bat on”.
Madhevere will be hoping to continue his good form and hope for more support from his teammates as three-match series continues in Townsville on Wednesday.