ZIMBABWE are looking to their top order to finally come to the party and fire upfront in their quest to level the Twenty20 International series when they clash with South Africa in the second Twenty20 International at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom this evening.
While the bowlers were brilliant on Tuesday, keeping the Proteas to a not so challenging 160-6 in 20 overs, the top order did not come to the party, with the Chevrons at 11/3 within the opening four overs of their innings, which spoiled their chances of a successful run chase.
Peter Moor and Brandon Mavuta were left trying to undo the damage caused by the top order with the two youngsters pulling Zimbabwe close to beating the Proteas for the first time in T20Is. Moor top scored with a 21-ball 44, his best score in this version of the game while Mavuta made 28 off 14 with their dismissals sparking the end of any hope for the Chevrons.
Skipper Hamilton Masakadza yesterday felt that the top order batsmen have hurried their innings, which has led to their downfall. He called for a better approach for fortunes of the top order to improve.
“I think guys (should) give themselves a little more time upfront, I think guys have been a little bit rushed or have rushed themselves a little bit so that plus slightly better execution and I think the top order should go a little better,’’ Masakadza said.
Seeing that bowlers have done well, Masakadza believes that a much better effort from the batsmen will certainly put the Chevrons in a much better position to level the series.
“A much bigger effort from the batters, the bowlers have really held their own but the batters really haven’t really come to the party on this tour, just to get a few more upfront and few more from the top three I think we should go a little better from there,’’ he said.
Zimbabwe will without a doubt look to build on their performance from Tuesday in their quest to keep the series alive.
“Definitely I thought they were a few good signs in that game although the top order didn’t fire but the guys towards the back hung around a bit especially the way Peter batted so we just looking to build on that and add to what those guys gave us,’’ Masakadza said.
The Zimbabweans have crumbled whenever they are facing up to leg spinner Imran Tahir who picked up five for 23 on Tuesday. Masakadza is of the view that while the veteran spinner has bowled well, they have not faced up to him the way they should have.
“In all fairness I think he has bowled well but at the same time I don’t think we have played him as much as we could have, we have played him before and played him much better than we have now, so it’s just a matter of guys going back and going through the things that they did when they played him well and obviously putting these few games behind us.”
It is yet to be seen if Zimbabwe will make changes to the team which played on Tuesday. The contentious issue is the continued selection of struggling former skipper Elton Chigumbura who has not really contributed much with the bat with two ducks in his last three innings. If coach Lalchand Rajput is not keen to alter the top order, he could bring in Solomon Mire in the middle with Neville Madziva another option.