Zimbabwe need to sort out batting woes

Published: Monday, October 9, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Ahmedabad:Zimbabwe will have to sort out their batting woes if they want to have any chance of putting it across Sri Lanka in their second ICC Champions Trophy qualifying match which will be held at the Sardar Patel stadium, Motera here tomorrow.

Sri Lanka, who already have a win to their name after beating Bangladesh, should easily qualify for the main tournament tomorrow with Zimbabwe not likely to test them if the result of the match between West Indies and Zimbabwe is any indication.

The African team which yesterday rolled over and capitulated very meekly, being bowled out for 85, will have to try and bat for 50 overs and try and garner as many runs as possible.

They have just one day today to sort out their deficiencies in their batting which is going to be very difficult and therefore the Lankans, joint winners of this trophy in 2002, should join the six teams who were given direct entry into the main Champions Trophy.

Lanka, who in the last match saw their batsmen get the much needed practice on Indian wickets with young opener Upul Tharanga scoring an century and the other top batsmen all getting into the 30s will be looking at their bowlers finding form before the sterner tests begin.

In the match against Bangladesh, the Lankan bowlers after their batsmen had scored 300 plus allowed their opponents to score over 250, which could be a worry for them.

The Lankans even considering the dew factor in the evening, luckily so far there has been no dew here would do well to bowl first and give their bowlers the much needed match practice so that they can get into a good rhythm before the main matches begin.

For Zimbabwe, the one good thing is that the only way to go from here is only up. Their top order batsmen would need to curb their attacking instincts and instead try and graft and stay at the wicket. Even if they score 150 to 175 without getting all out would be seen as an improvement and would give just a little something for their bowlers to bowl with.

The Lankans can also use this match to rest a couple of their main players and try out the reserves to see where they stand when it comes to international competition.

The wicket for the match like the last one for yesterday's match looks a pretty flat track where batsmen should flourish and if Lanka bat first than the fans could see another score of 300 plus.

Meanwhile, the standoff between the International Cricket Council and the Gujarat Cricket Association over the state body's demand for Rs1crore as compensation for allotting 12 cabins to the apex cricket body has been resolved.

Following a fresh directive from the BCCI, the GCA reversed its stand of not allowing the ICC to take possession of the plush cabins, meant to seat 200 representatives from sponsors and other guests during Champions Trophy matches.

The teams:Sri Lanka: Mahela Jayawardene (capt), Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara (wk), Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedera, Malinga Bandara, Tilakratne Dilshan, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Dilhara Fernando, Ruchira Perera, Lasith Malinga and Muttiah Muralitharan.

Zimbabwe: P Utseya (capt), C J Chibhabha, E Chigumbura, T Duffin, A J Ireland, T Kamungozi, H Masakadza, S Matsikenyeri, T V Mufambisi, T Mupariwa, E C Rainsford, H P Rinke, G M Strydom, B R M Taylor (wk).

Umpires: Aleem Dar and Asad Rauf (both Pak) Third umpire: Rudi Koertzen (RSA) Reserve umpire: Mark Benson (Eng)

Match referee: Jeff Crowe (NZ)


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