ZIMBABWE can lift themselves to the top of the International Cricket Council World Cup qualifier Super Six league log with a win over Ireland in a match that will be played at the Harare Sports Club starting this morning.
West Indies are the only side that arrived in the Super Six stage with four points after a perfect record in the Groups while Zimbabwe and Scotland had one less.
A win today would thrust Zimbabwe to the top of the table with five points and enhances their chances of qualifying for the 2019 World Cup that will be hosted in England.
Ireland can climb over Zimbabwe and join West Indies on four points with a win today and everything points to another thriller.
The last time the two teams met, it was at the same venue and Zimbabwe won the threematch series 2-1.
The stakes are higher this time as both teams are desperate for the important two points.
Zimbabwe arrive into this match at the back of a poor batting display when they fell to 210 all out against Scotland and rode on a good bowling display to claim a draw.
This time they will be looking for a better batting show and captain Graeme Cremer is confident that they can rectify that area particularly at Harare Sports Club
“Each and every game in this tournament is a pressure game and the Ireland match will be like the ones that we have played so far and we will have the same attitude that we have had so far in this tournament,” Cremer said yesterday. “We want to see the guys give us more runs up the order, but our batsmen generally bat better at Harare Sports Club. It’s about curbing the soft dismissals in this one then we know we can be good. Bulawayo was a good experience now we are here in Harare in the Super sixes and we are pumped for it.”
Brendan Taylor (pictured) leads the tournament run charts, with 279 at an average of 69.75 while Sikandar Raza isn’t far behind, with 194 at 48.50.
The opening pair of Solomon Mire and Cephas Zhuwao have provided the explosive start that the technical team has demanded of them making it easier for the middle order to capitalise.
They will be looking for more of the same today but they face the prospect of being force to chase, something they have not done so far in this tournament.
Ireland on their part are confident of their own abilities but concede that the match against Zimbabwe will be a tough one.
“Zimbabwe are tough on their home turf, they’ve played good cricket of late and Friday will give us a good idea of where we are at,” said coach Graham Ford
Ireland’s batting has been strong with captain William Porterfield leading consistently garnering the runs for his side.
He has a total of 250 runs to his name so far.