T20 World Cup: Zimbabwe’s final warm-up match abandoned due to rain

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Fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani takes part in an indoor training session afterr the warm-up match against Namibia was called off due to rain on Thursday

Zimbabwe’s final ICC Men’s T20 Cricket World Cup warm-up match against Namibia that had been scheduled for the Junction Oval in Melbourne earlier on Thursday was called off without a ball being bowled due to rain.

After losing to Sri Lanka by 33 runs in their first official warm-up game on Tuesday, the Chevrons were hoping to finalise their preparations with a morale-boosting win against Namibia.

However, their hopes of some competitive match practice were hampered by bad weather which meant they ended up having an indoor practice session as part of their preparations for the upcoming event.

With the cancelation of Thursday’s warm-up match, Zimbabwe will not have any more preparatory matches before their opening T20 World Cup match against Ireland in Horbat, Tasmania next Monday.

After the crucial opener against the European side, the Zimbabwe side will take on the West Indies two days later and then round off their first-round action against Scotland next week Friday.

The top two teams from Group B will join the Super 12 stage, along with the top two teams from Group A which features Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands and Namibia.

Eight teams have a bye in the first round, and these include hosts and defending champions Australia, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.

Zimbabwe are returning to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup after missing last year’s event in the UAE and Oman. The Chevrons did not take part in the qualifiers of the last edition of the competition after a suspension by the ICC due to government interference in the administration of the game.

Head coach Dave Houghton and fast bowler Tendai Chatara were all smiles during Zimbabwe’s indoor training session at the Junction Oval in Melbourne on Thursday

With a new head coach and an impressive recent run in T20Is, expectations are high for the Chevrons as they journey down under.

A legend of Zimbabwe cricket as a player and as a coach, Dave Houghton will lead his country at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup nearly 40 years after his international debut as a player.

His re-appointment in the summer is bound to have generated a feel-good factor around the camp, not that one was needed, with the side having won seven of their last nine T20Is.

Houghton even masterminded a shock 50-over victory over Australia in Queensland in September, with leg-spinner Ryan Burl finishing with figures of five-for-ten. But the man of the moment is undoubtedly 36-year-old all-rounder Sikandar Raza, whose strike rate currently hovers around 150 in the T20 format.

And with captain Craig Ervine back from a hamstring injury at the top of the order, Zimbabwe will fancy their chances of securing a Super 12 stage spot for the first time in their history.

 

 

 

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