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Chevrons eye memorable World Cup

Zimbabwe cricket team

The Zimbabwe cricket team continues to show the potential of making an impression at the eighth edition of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup despite losing to Asian champions Sri Lanka in their first warm up match in Melbourne, Australia on Tuesday.

Zimbabwe put up a valiant effort against a more illustrious opponent despite going down by 33 runs.

The Chevrons, making a return to T20 World Cup for the first time in six years, were scheduled to complete their preparations for the global showpiece with another practice match against fellow African side Namibia at the Junction Oval this morning.

Namibia are a rising force in T20 cricket and will be making a second consecutive appearance at the World Cup after they progressed to the latter stages of the competition the last time out.

They have also claimed their first-ever series win over a full member nation, beating Zimbabwe (3-2) in a five-match T20I series back in May.

In the aftermath of a series whitewash at home to Afghanistan, Zimbabwe brought in Dave Houghton as the new head coach and the Chevrons have gone on to win seven of their last nine matches, including the loss against Sri Lanka.

Zimbabwe begin their World Cup Group B campaign against Ireland, ranked 12th on the ICC T20 ranking and one place behind the Chevrons, at the Blundstone Arena, Hobarton on Monday.

Group A also includes two-time champions West Indies and Scotland who are ranked 15th in the format.

The Chevrons will be looking to progress beyond the first stage at the T20 World for the first time in the history of the competition which was inaugurated in 2007.

And based on ranking and recent form, Zimbabwe are expected to partner West Indies into the Super 12 stage of the competition.

But Zimbabwe’s major concern ahead of the start of the T20 World would be the fitness of rising Wessley Madhevere who top scored with 42 runs before he retired hurt against Sri Lanka.

The extent of his injury is still not known but hopes are that the all-rounder, who is arguably the country’s best player in the format will be available at the start of the competition.

The Chevrons’ match against Sri Lanka saw the return of express bowler Blessing Muzarabani as well as Tendai Chatara, Wellington Masakadza and Milton Shumba after injury problems.

While Muzarabani, Chatara and Masakadza struggled with the ball, Shumba was the second highest top scorer with 32 runs from 25 balls as Zimbabwe fell 33 runs short of the 188-run mark set by Sri Lanka.

Sen William who has missed out on a lot of cricket for Zimbabwe this year managed just two runs but will be expected to play a massive role in the team’s quest for glory.

Other players expected to shine for Zimbabwe include its main source of runs in recent times, Sikandar Raza, Bras Evans, Regis Chakabva, Ryan Burl and Luke Jongwe.

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