HomeSportCricketButcher confident ahead of SA tie

Butcher confident ahead of SA tie


Zimbabwe’s cricket tour of South Africa reaches the climax on Friday when the two sides meet in the third and final MTN One-Day International (ODI) encounter at the Sahara Park in Willowmoore in Benoni.

South Africa secured an unassailable 2-0 lead after winning the second ODI by eight wickets with 11 overs to spare in Potchefstroom last week.

The hosts will no doubt be aiming for a whitewash although they will not get it on a silver platter as an improved Zimbabwe side has shown the potential of causing an upset.

In a telephone interview from South Africa, coach Allan Butcher said they were going to maintain the positive attitude going into Friday’s match.

“Even though results have not come our way, we have shown some good progress and we will continue working hard to maintain that positive attitude.

I have been impressed by the performances of Brendon Taylor and Chamu Chibhabha with the bat while Prosper Utseya has impressed me in his role as the chief spinner.”

It was always going to be a tall order for Zimbabwe to win any of the matches but the team’s performances have convinced some that the game is on its way up in the country.

However, while some of the batsmen have blossomed while the bowlers have been less convincing.

The hosts’ Hashim Amla and AB de Villiers were at their ruthless best in the last match both scoring impressive centuries.

Butcher said he was confident that this was a learning curve for the bowlers as they were playing against a very strong side.

“It would be unfair to blame the bowlers because the pitches have been very flat which makes it easy for the batsmen while making it extremely difficult for the bowlers.

“We also have to consider that they have been playing against a vastly experienced South African batting line up and I’m confident that they will learn from this and hopefully get better,” said Butcher.”

Meanwhile, Sean Williams, who struggled during the last two matches was a doubt for this match as he was reportedly struggling for fitness ahead of the match.

Hamilton Masakadza could reclaim his place if Williams is not fit in time for the game while Edward Rainsford could come in for Christopher Mpofu in the fast bowling department.

Zimbabwe (possible):

1 Brendan Taylor, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Chamu Chibhabha, 4 Sean Williams/Craig Ervine, 5 Grant Flower, 6 Tatenda Taibu (wk), 7 Elton Chigumbura (captain), 8 Graeme Cremer, 9 Prosper Utseya, 10 Shingirai Masakadza, 11 Chris Mpofu/Ed Rainsford

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