Zimbabwe coach Allan Butcher admitted the team had not achieved targets they had set for themselves before the start of their tour to Bangladesh where they lost 3-1 to the hosts in the Micromax One-Day International (ODI) series concluded on Sunday.
“We certainly didn’t achieve the targets we had set for ourselves because we didn’t bat well in most of our matches like we needed to do,” a disappointed Butcher said after his side lost the fifth ODI by six wickets in Chittagong to suffer a 3-1 series defeat.
“We knew we would find the conditions in Bangladesh difficult and we had worked hard to find methods of dealing with it but when you only get a top score of 210 in four games then you can’t be happy with that.
“Obviously Razzak was tough for us but we in some ways were our own obstacles because we kept making unforced errors at crucial times like towards the power plays ,” he added.
Despite the array of batting talent in the Zimbabwean team only Craig Ervine, Regis Chakabva and Prosper Utseya, who certainly should have been considered to be placed higher in the batting order made contributions worth talking about.
Tatenda Taibu also had a good day in the last match, albeit for a losing cause as he only received support from Ervine after the openers had yet again crumbled like a deck of cards.
After a promising performance in the first match Brendan Taylor could have been Zimbabwe’s match-winner but ended up having a largely forgettable tour, while Keith Dabengwa, Hamilton Masakadza and Chamunorwa Chibhabha were also a huge disappointment.
Ryan Butterworth was never given a chance in all four matches, and one wonders why he was selected in the squad in the first place, when the selectors knew that he would not make the squad.
Butcher also said the fielding performances were also not up to standard in the last three games.
In the first game the fielding performance certainly won the game for Zimbabwe after they forced four run-outs to restrict the hosts, but after that the crucial catches were dropped, while some fumbles in the field cost the team some extra runs.
“In the last three games fielding errors proved to be costly for us, for example in the second game they cost us 50 runs and a further 60 runs in the third and in low-scoring games there are no excuses for that.
“Although we didn’t score as many runs as we would have wanted, there were errors in the field that cost us as well,” said Butcher.
The match winner in the last match, Tamim Iqbal, was put down by Christopher Mpofu off his own bowling and he punished Zimbabwe with a match-winning knock of 95 off 95 balls.
Butcher also gave credit to the hosts for playing some good cricket and giving Zimbabwe something to think about as they look ahead to the World Cup next year.
It will be interesting to see how many players who were on this tour will make the World Cup squad.