West Indies are currently taking on Zimbabwe in the first Test in Bulawayo and it’s great to see the tourists displaying faith in the team that narrowly lost 2-1 in England.
Following a difficult tour of the UK, the likes of Kieron Powell and Kyle Hope as well as gloveman Shane Dowrich have been presented with further opportunity to showcase their international credentials and with Zimbabwe benefiting from the return of some experienced players, it should be a competitive series.
Brendan Taylor and Kyle Jarvis are back in the international fold for the hosts and that should bode well for Graeme Cremer’s team. There is part of me that feels these guys had turned their back on the global game and shouldn’t just waltz back into their national side however it can be seen as an investment. They should be better players for having played regular professional cricket in England for a few years and if that contributes to Zimbabwe’s matches against any side being close encounters then that is good for the game. They’d displayed strong strides against a regressive Sri Lanka outfit and the addition of Taylor and Jarvis as well as a reimagining of Zimbabwean domestic cricket provides an optimistic horizon for ‘The Chevrons’.
Keep up to date with how things play out between the two sides @ http://www.cricinfo.com
After a difficult 1 for Room 101 in the first innings of his Test debut against Sri Lanka, debutant quick bowler Carl Mumba followed it up with figures of 4-50 in the second innings as well as making a defiant 10 not out in his nation’s second venture to the crease. Again, in the next Test, the first innings was difficult for Mumba, the twenty-one-year-old finished with 0-80 but once again he responded well, claiming 3-67 second time around.
As recently as January 29th, Mumba picked up 5-54 when representing Zimbabwe A against Afghanistan A in a List A match. As it stands, in 19 First Class outings, Mumba totals 80 wickets at just 20.07. Admittedly the strength of depth of the batting in Zimbabwe domestic cricket could be questioned but they’re encouraging stats none the less.
With persistent injuries to the exciting Tinashe Panyangara and regular doubts over Brian Vitori’s action, Zimbabwe will be relying on the country’s 100th Test cricketer to spearhead their attack for the next decade or so. No pressure then!
Mumba’s gotta tell you!
Wahab Riaz (Pakistan)
Riaz was dismissed LBW fifth ball to New Zealand’s Colin de Grandhomme (1-29) in the second Test in Hamilton. Soon after, commencing their second innings with a lead of 55 New Zealand’s openers Jeet Raval faced one delivery without scoring and Tom Latham (Golden duck in the first innings) is yet to face!
Usman Khawaja (Australia)
How do you follow a first innings 145?
Drop down the order and fall LBW second ball to become Tabraiz Shamsi’s (1-49) second Test wicket however Australia (Warner 47, Smith 40, Renshaw 34 not out) won by seven wickets. South Africa though win the series 2-1.
Ajinkya Rahane (India)
LBW sixth ball to England’s in-form Adil Rashid (3-81) as England fought back before India fought back in the third Test in Mohali. India (Kohli 62, Ashwin 57 not out) trail by twelve runs with four wickets remaining.
Brian Vitori (Zimbabwe)
Zimbabwe number eleven Vitori fell second ball to Sri Lanka’s Asela Gunaratne in the Tri-Series final. Vitori then dismissed Dhananjaya De Sliva with the very first delivery of Sri Lanka’s reply. Vitori finished with figures of 3-52 as Sri Lanka (Kusal Mendis 57) won the final by six wickets. Earlier on debut, Zimbabwe’s Tarisai Musakanda top scored for his side with 36 from 37 deliveries. Just making his debut in a final, as you do!
A torturous 16-ball nought for Ben DUCKett probably means termination of his Test career, at least for now. An 11-baller for Zafar Ansari will likely mean the same outcome for him too. Also, spare a thought for James Anderson, he might bat at number eleven but he takes his batting extremely seriously. Unfortunatley he registered England’s first king pair in 110 years!
That all adds up to a 246-run Test match victory for India and a 1-0 series lead with three matches left to play.
Zimbabwe are currently taking on Sri Lanka in a Tri-Series ODI in Bulawayo so Silly Point will provide a further IDW update later today… if necessary.
Sri Lanka wrapped up a comprehensive 2-0 Test series victory over hosts Zimbabwe in Harare earlier today. Just weeks after West Indies’ spinner Devendra Bishoo took eight wickets in a Test innings Sri Lanka’s Rangana Herath got in on the act too. Herath recorded second innings figures of 8-63 to finish the match with analysis of 13-152 and 19-287 at 15.10 in the series. There were however some pluses to come out of the series for the hosts, namely the maiden Test century scored by skipper Graeme Cremer who also toiled hard for eleven wickets at 39.63. Another positive for Zimbabwe was the contribution of newcomer Carl Mumba who claimed eight victims in the series at 37.25 whilst opening batsman Brian Chari (80) and wicketkeeper Peter Moor (79) both produced career best performances with the bat.
Next for the teams is a ODI Tri-Series (No really, a good old Tri-Series) with West Indies the other team involved. Test batsmen Shane Dowrich and Shai Hope, as yet uncapped in ODI cricket are amongst those selected for West Indies.
Moeen Ali finished the first day of the first Test between India and England unbeaten on 99 as England made an encouraging 311-4 (311, that’s the same number of runs that Zimbabwe require to win the second Test against Sri Lanka tomorrow. Freaky!) in their first innings in Rajkot.
England captain Alastair Cook scored 21 (Legal drinking age in USA) before being dismissed to the first ball after drinks (Remember Ben Duckett was the first wicket to fall in the second innings of the second Test in Bangladesh to the first ball of a new session. Concentrate lads, concentrate!) and fellow opener, nineteen-year-old debutant Haseeb Hameed made a promising 31 in his first Test outing. The Duke (Duckett) fell for unlucky 13 before (Stumpy) Joe Root (124) and Moeen put England in a commanding position. Ben Stokes finished the day alongside The Beard that’s Feared unbeaten on 18 (Legal drinking age in UK).
Despite England’s supposed strength in depth in their batting they’ve struggled to post competitive totals in recent times, not only in the subcontinent but also at home. The score at the end of the first day of the series will be particularly uplifting for England fans but the tourists must back it up and go on to record a really imposing total tomorrow.
As mentioned this Test is Haseeb Hameed’s first Test appearance (See previous post: Hameed to Debut in Rajkot)
The confident Lancastrian will already have his eyes set on reaching the same milestone as England teammate Stuart Broad for whom this is his 100th Test match appearance.
P.S. Silly Point is glad to report that there were no English inductions to International Duck Watch today!
Just the one addition to the International Duck Watch club again today but we have our first golden boy. Zimbabwe’s Malcolm Waller was caught behind off the bowling of Sri Lanka’s Dhananjaya de Silva to the very first ball he faced in Zimbabwe’s second innings in the second Test in Harare.
The hosts finished the day on 180-7 with another 311 runs required on the final day to secure a series levelling victory! Slightly more realistically Sri Lanka need just three more wickets to take a 2-0 series clean sweep.