Zimbabwe Vs Canada
Staring time: 9:30 am IST
Nagpur, Feb 27: The second week of the World Cup 2011 gets underway with a contest that appears evenly matched by virtue of the fact that both sides are minnows. However, history has shown that Zimbabwe is the more superior team as it has won its only encounter against Canada and convincingly at that.
The victory came on May 16, 2006 when the Africans romped home by 143 runs. But it was no high-scorer with Canada doing well to restrict the opposition to 218. But unfortunately, they followed up that sprightly performance in the field with a disastrous showing with the bat, getting skittled out for 75 in 28.5 overs, present captain Ashish Bagai top-scoring with a mere 16!
However, the sides are vastly different from five years ago. Only 3 Zimbabwe players are still surviving in the team since 2006 and those are the captain Elton Chigumbura, opener Brendon Taylor and all-rounder Proper Utseya. The Canadian side too has only three veterans remaining - captain Ashish Bagai, fast bowler Henry Osinde and all-rounder John Davison. So, both teams will be relatively new to each other when they face off on Monday.
As far as key players go, Rizwan Cheema stands out with his defiant 37 off 35 balls against Sri Lanka last Sunday. He was the only bright spot in an otherwise shambolic batting performance from his team.
Bagai too might be effective in the middle-order as he scored 22 against the Lankans. Davison who hasn't performed well in the warm-ups and only managed a duck against Lanka, but who surprisingly has a World Cup century to his name, just might fire this time.
Meanwhile for Zimbabwe, the men to watch out for would include Sean Williams and Graeme Cremer, who scored 28 and 37 respectively in their match against Australia last Monday.
Cremer also bowled a tight spell and took a wicket to boot. Prosper Utseya who has a bowling average of just 10 against the Canadians, too could play a crucial role in the upcoming encounter. One will have to wait and see if Canada click as a unit on Monday or Zimbabwe, with its fair amount of talent and experience, will prevail...