Zimbabwe hopeful on Richard Ngarava fitness after South Africa injury

Richard Ngarava

Zimbabwe are hopeful that Richard Ngarava will be fit for their clash with Pakistan on Thursday after the seamer slipped in his follow-through during the rain-ruined game with South Africa on Monday.

In a farcical game reduced before the start to nine overs per side and then seven after a stoppage, left-armer Ngarava went down as he completed his over and had to be helped from the field by the team's physio.

"I think he's doing all right," said Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine, discussing Ngarava's fitness. "We obviously had a travel day yesterday. We had most of today to recover. We have got a training session this evening, and we'll see how he warms up this evening.

"Even after today's training session, the game only starts at seven tomorrow. It's quite a bit of time for him to recover and hopefully it's not too serious."

Regis Chakabva, Zimbabwe's wicketkeeper, also slipped while trying to move down the legside as conditions worsened. Ahead of the fourth over of South Africa's run-chase, which would have been bowled by Sean Williams after Ervine opted to protect his seamers in light of conditions underfoot, the umpires belatedly took the players off the field, with the game abandoned shortly afterwards.

Dave Houghton, Zimbabwe's head coach, criticised the sequence of events soon after the match was called off and the points were split.

"I understand the need to try and get these games on for the public and TV people and I understand the need for us to play in slightly inclement weather to try and get a result, but I felt we overstepped that mark in this game," said Houghton, who insisted that he didn't even think the game should have begun, given conditions that South Africa's Lungi Ngidi had admitted at the halfway stage were particularly wet.

"I don't think we should have even bowled a ball, to be honest," added Houghton, "but the umpires are the guys making the decisions out in the middle and they seemed to think it was fit to play.

"I thought the rain got so heavy at one stage it was ridiculous. For most of the evening it was misty mizzle but it got to the stage where you could actually hear it thumping on the rooftop of the dugout. To me, that's time to get off the field."

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