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Chibhabha targets return to form

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ZIMBABWE national cricket team’s limited overs captain Chamu Chibhabha says he is confident of returning to form soon after he struggled through the one-day international (ODI) series against Pakistan, where the hosts ran out 2-1 winners in Rawalpindi.

BY KEVIN MAPASURE

Chibhabha managed just 19 runs in three innings, falling for a duck in the third and final ODI which Zimbabwe won via a Super Over.

Criticism has been directed at Zimbabwe’s opening stand, particularly at the skipper who struggled to make meaningful contributions with the bat.

He admitted that he hasn’t performed his role as an opening batsman to good effect, but pledged to bounce back boldly, declaring that a huge score was around the corner.

Chibhabha also admitted that the team had been over-reliant on the middle order batsmen, where Brendan Taylor scored a century in the first ODI before rounding off with a half ton in the final match, while Sean Williams also reached triple figures in the consolation win, with Wesley Madhevere also scoring a half century.

“It’s great to finally put an end to a 10-game losing streak and put points on the board as we vie for a World Cup place in India 2023. I hope as a team, we have finally overcome the mental hurdle of failing to get over the line and closing out games when we are on top. We can’t continue overlying on our middle order,” he tweeted.

Chibhabha was placed with the performance but still felt his team could have won the series.
“I still feel we could have won the ODI series 2-1,” he said.

“As captain and opening batter, I always want to lead from the front and help set a launching pad for the team. It’s something I am yet to do on this tour. I have been hitting the ball reasonably well in the nets and I feel a big score is around the corner.”

Zimbabwe fell 26 runs short of a winning target of 288 in the first ODI, where they put up a spirited performance, winning praise and earning respect, but the team members have stressed that competing alone is no longer enough for them as they want to win matches and qualify for the World Cup.

Chibhabha promised to help emerging star Madhevere reach his full potential.

“When I see Wesley, I see the young me and I made my debut. It’s mine and other senior players’ duty to nurture his talent and others in the right environment where winning is a habit.

An environment where we can’t give excuses. Just being competitive alone is not good enough,” he said.

“As we look forward to the T-20 series, I would like to thank our fans who continue to support us through our highs and lows. We have felt your frustrations when we failed to close out matches. Hopefully, our last victory heralds a change in our fortunes.”

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