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ICC World Cup: Key players from Zim

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WELLINGTON —The team, currently ranked 10th in the one-day internationals (ODIs), will be led by Elton Chigumbura this year. Hamilton Masakadza, who made his international debut 14 years ago, is set to play in his first World Cup.

Masakadza will form the batting core alongside Sikander Raza, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine and Sean Williams.

Here’s a look at the key players from Zimbabwe in the World Cup (WC):

Brendan Taylor
Playing role: Wicketkeeper batsman
The 28-year-old Harare player is one of the brightest and most experienced candidate in Zimbabwe’s squad for the WC. An aggressive opening batsman, Taylor has made a name for being a calm batsman in pressure situations.

Taylor became the first Zimbabwean batsman to hit back-to-back ODI centuries (128 not out and 107 not out), achieved against New Zealand in October 2011. His batting exploits were at full display when he smashed Mashrafe Mortaza for a six on the last delivery to guide Zimbabwe to a series win over Bangladesh in 2006.

In 2010, Taylor played a brilliant unbeaten knock of 145 runs to keep Zimbabwe in the mammoth 351-run chase against the mighty South Africans. With over 4800 runs comprised of 31 fifties and six hundreds in 161 ODIs, Taylor will be one of the crucial batsmen for Zimbabwe in the upcoming WC.

Hamilton Masakadza

Playing role: All-rounder

The 31-year-old Harare player is an integral part of the Zimbabwe cricket team over the years. A right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-pace bowler, Masakadza boasts all the qualities of a genuine all-rounder.

In February 2000 he became the first black Zimbabwean to score a first-class century. Soon after, in July 2001 he became the youngest player to make a century on his Test debut.

His innings of 119 was made against the West Indies in Harare and helped his side draw the match. He went into the record books again against the West Indies in December 2007, this time in an ODI. His opening partnership of 167 with Vusi Sibanda was a national record, with Masakadza making 80 of those runs.

His maiden ODI century against a Test-playing nation came on 14 August 2009, eight years after his Test century, when he scored 102 off 112 balls against Bangladesh batting at Number three. He is also the first Zimbabwean to have two ODI scores of more than 150, both coming in one week when he scored 156 and 178 not out against Kenya in October 2009 in the first and fifth matches in Harare.

Sean Williams

Playing role: All-rounder

The 28-year-old Bulawayo player is known as Zimbabwe’s most promising cricketers in modern day cricket. A left-hand top-order batsman and more than useful left-arm spinner, Williams was the pick of Zimbabwe’s batsmen with 157 runs at 31.40 and five wickets during the Under-19 World Cup in 2004.

With over 1700 runs including 17 fifties and 22 wickets in 69 ODIs, Williams will be eager to bring out his best for Zimbabwe in the upcoming World Cup.

Elton Chigumbura

Playing role: All-rounder

The 28-year-old Kwekwe cricketer will lead Zimbabwe in the coveted World Cup this year. A right-handed batsman and a right-arm medium-fast bowler, Chigumbura adds value to both Zimbabwe’s batting and bowling department.

In 2007, Chigumbura played a pivotal role in Zimbabwe’s five-wicket win over the mighty Australians in the World T20 tournament. Chigumbura removed both Adam Gilchrist and Matthew Hayden to finish his spell at 3/20 as Australia stuttered to post a shambolic total of 138 runs.

In 2009, he tormented the Kenyan bowlers as he smashed consecutive scores of 79, 68, 43 and 36 at a strike rate well above a-run-a-ball and picking up seven wickets for good measure.

Probably the hardest-hitting batsman in the current side when on form and a athletic outfielder, Chigumbura will be key to Zimbabwe’s success in the upcoming World Cup.

Tendai Chatara

Playing role: Medium-fast bowler

A tall fast bowler with appreciable pace and the ability to move the ball away from the right hander, Chatara has risen quickly to become one of the mainstays of Zimbabwe’s bowling attack in modern day cricket.

Chatara made his ODI debut against West Indies in 2013 but went wicketless while conceding 64 runs in a losing cause. However, he recorded his best bowling figures of 3/44 against Bangladesh in 2014. Having played only 21 ODIs wherein he claimed 27 wickets, Chatara is fairly new to the international scene but he’s still regarded as one of the most promising young fast-bowling prospects in Zimbabwe.

Squad: Regis Chakabva (wk), Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Elton Chigumbura(c), Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Solomon Mire, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tinashe Panyangara, Sikandar Raza, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams.
— India Today

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