Mehluli Sibanda in EAST LONDON, South Africa
ZIMBABWE’S display in the first Twenty20 International cricket match at Buffalo Park in East London on Wednesday night was a strong message that the Proteas can be beaten, according to the Chevrons top scorer Peter Moor.
The Chevrons were bowled out for 126 in 17.2 overs after having done well to restrict South Africa to 160. Moor was the highest run scorer for Zimbabwe with a career best 44 off 21, with the right-hander slamming one four and an incredible five sixes.
His eighth wicket partnership of 53 with Brandon Mavuta who scored 28, was the best for the Chevrons on the night. Moor believes that they did send a message that they can overcome the Proteas, that is, if they do the correct things for a little bit longer.
“I think as a team it sends a message that we can perform, if we can bat a little bit longer, like Hamilton has been saying, do the right things for a little bit longer we can beat South Africa. Despite losing by quite a big margin I think we gained a lot from it,’’ Moor said. Zimbabwe’s run chase was dented by losing three wickets inside the first four overs, with the Chevrons unable to recover from that bad start. Veterans Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams did show some flashes of brilliance but did not hang around for long enough. Moor pointed out that it is always a tough task to recover from conceding three wickets so early.
“Whenever you lose three wickets in the Powerplay it’s tough to come back from that but despite that I think there was a stage when South Africa were a little bit on edge. I think that sent a message there. So our batters know that if we can start well, there is no reason why we can’t win it, especially in a T20 match,’’ he said.
While Moor was disappointed not to see the team over the line, he also took a lot of confidence from his personal performance on the night.
“Very disappointed, I think there was a stage when me and Brandon were batting and we thought we could get over the line so obviously not to finish the game was disappointing but personally taken a lot of confidence from that innings, it’s something that I really needed.”
His batting display certainly made up for the disappointing display with the willow in hand in the ODIs.
“I always like to be positive when I bat. Obviously during the ODI series I often went in at a time where it wasn’t ideal for me to just go out there and be positive. Even today it wasn’t really ideal to begin with, I just thought to myself I know where my strengths are. I need to back myself and I think I’ve gained a lot from today,’’ Moor said.
Zimbabwe will certainly hope that they can build on Moor and Mavuta’s fearless batting display when they clash with South Africa in the second T20I at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom tomorrow. If the top order can just click, Zimbabwe have a great chance of leveling the series ahead of the final match in Benoni on Sunday