Chevrons get Ballance boost

Zimbabwe national cricket team batsman Gary Ballance

Zimbabwe national cricket team batsman Gary Ballance is fit for selection ahead of the first of three One Day Internationals against touring Ireland at Harare Sports Club this morning.

Balance made his senior debut for Zimbabwe in the first T20 against the same opponents but missed the other two matches due to concussion.

Sean Williams, who is nursing a broken finger, is still out while Sikandar Raza returned to the country yesterday having missed the T20s while playing in the Bangladesh Premier League as well as another tournament in the United Arab Emirates.

Zimbabwe will be aiming for their second series win in this format under Dave Houghton after they accounted for Bangladesh at home last year.

Chevrons captain Craig Ervine is hoping that the team will carry the T20 momentum into the 50 over version of the game.

“We are going into the ODI (and we) have got to start looking at the combinations with the World Cup qualifiers coming up although it’s only in June-July, but we want to put in a good performance and continue the momentum that we have had so far,” he told journalists in Harare yesterday.

Brendon Mvuta has been added to the list of bowlers and Ervine is pleased that the quick has been rewarded for doing well on the domestic front.

“It’s a very exciting combination, Brendon Mavuta has been doing well in the domestic competitions so he deserves his place in the squad. It is good for the player to know that he is being rewarded for doing well."

He is excited with the return of two stalwart batters in Ballance and Raza.

“Gary is going to be fit, so that's a huge plus for us. Sikandar Raza will bring his experience, so I think it’s going to be an exciting ODI series. With Sean Williams out, there is a gap to fill there but we have enough options in the spin department. We want to start on a winning note. The crowd has been incredible, I am sure we will have another amazing atmosphere. I am pretty sure that Raza will be ready, he is arriving today so he should be ok. We have a good balanced squad, I think it will be exciting and as close as the T20 series.”

Zim Squad: C Ervine, G Ballance, R Burl, T Chatara, C Chibhabha, B Evans, I Kaia, C Madande, W Madhevere, T Marumani, W Masakadza, B Mavuta, R Ngarava, V Nyauchi and S Raza


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