Battling Zimbabwe secure second India ODI‎ win

By Rhys Hayward
cricket

(Photo: Graham Dean)

Zimbabwe produced yet another astonishing win over India in Harare as they continue to repair their devastated international reputation.

The country’s well-documented internal strife has hit the national cricket team hard and they last played a Test match in 2005.

But under the stewardship of Englishman Alan Butcher they have pulled off a pair of convincing scalps over a team including Suresh Reina and Virat Kohli.

The gradual thawing of the international attitude towards Zimbabwe over the last year has been rewarded with a home tri-series, also including Sri Lanka.

And rather than acting as cannon fodder for their illustrious visitors, Zimbabwe sprung a surprise, chasing down 286 to beat India in the opener.

Sri Lanka restored parity in their second match, Tillakaratne Dilshan starring in a thumping nine wicket defeat.

But rather than resting on their laurels, Elton Chigumbura’s side rallied producing a second clinical win to leave them on top of the points table.

The side remains workmanlike but Butcher, the father of former England opener Mark, insists they can return to their hey-day of the late 1990’s.

An attack based on four spin bowlers and one medium pacer suggests they are too limited for a return to test cricket, but being consistently competitive at ODI level is a realistic goal.

But there is unquestioned talent in the side which includes wicket-keeper Tatenda Taibu and veteran left-arm spinner Ray Price.

A soothing of the countries volatile political situation since the 2008 general election is slowly filtering through to sporting affairs.

Brazil’s footballers visited Harare for a friendly this week and the presence of white players such as Craig Ervine and Brendon Taylor in the cricket side illustrates progress.

Zimbabwe joined the test fold in 1992 and, despite their limitations, players such as Heath Streak and present England coach Andy Flower helped form a competitive side.

But as the country descended into chaos so did their cricket team.

England refused to play a World Cup match in Harare in 2003 and in the same tournament Flower and Henry Olonga staged a now famous black-arm-protest protest against the ‘death of democracy,’ in their country.

The following year 14 players walked away from the squad after captain Streak was sacked by the board.

MORE:

MORE: The latest football news

MORE: The latest tennis news

BIOGRAPHY: Willian

Australian Open 2018
The Sport Review
Australian Open 2018: Kyle Edmund ‘in a good place’ after beating Dimitrov to set semi against Cilic
The Sport Review
Top 50 most stylish footballers in the world in 2017: Arsenal, Man United, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 40 Muslim footballers: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Man United stars feature
The Sport Review
Top 25 footballers’ cars: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Real Madrid players feature
The Sport Review
Top 20 Nigerian footballers in Premier League: Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool stars feature
The Sport Review
Arsenal player wages 2017: Do you know how much Xhaka, Ozil and Coquelin earn each week?
The Sport Review
Eden Hazard urges Chelsea FC board to forget about January transfer
The Sport Review
What ex-Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson said about Alexis Sanchez in 2010
The Sport Review
Jamie Redknapp backs Liverpool FC transfer business