Matsikenyeri demands better from batters

The Chevrons found themselves two matches down following eight-wicket and six-wicket loses in their first and second T20 Internationals.

ZIMBABWE senior men's cricket team interim coach Stuart Matsikenyeri has demanded an improved performance from the top order batsmen if the team is to stay alive in the ongoing T20I series against hosts Bangladesh.

The Chevrons found themselves two matches down following eight-wicket and six-wicket loses in their first and second T20 Internationals.

In both matches the Achilles hill has been the top order batting that has not been able to put enough runs on the board with the senior players struggling the most.

Clive Madande and Wellington Masakadza fought hard with the bat in the series opener, scoring 43 and 34 runs, respectively, to give their bowlers some decent score to defend after the top crumbled early, leaving the visitors on 36/4 in the power play. This was after Joylord Gumbie scored 17, Craig Ervine nought, Brian Bennett 16, with veterans Sean Williams and Craig Ervine both failing to get off the mark.

The second match saw youngsters Jonathan Campbell and Brian Bennett taking the fight to their hosts with unbeaten on debut on 45 and 44, respectively, as the team laboured to 138/7 in 20 overs.

In the Sunday match, Ervine managed 13 after Tadiwanashe Marumani fell for two runs with Gumbie chewing 30 balls for his 17. Sikandar Raza only managed three, while Clive Madande fell for a duck.

After the poor show by the established batters, Matsikenyeri wants to see a better display.

“It was a little bit better (on Sunday) but largely still disappointing because we have not played to the standard that we expect ourselves. We still know that if we reach anywhere close to our standard, performance wise, that way we will be competitive and will give ourselves an opportunity to win the game,” Matsikenyeri told NewsDay Sport.

“All the shortcomings, the midfields, dropped catches, loose deliveries all need cleaning up. But, it is obviously the top order batting or maybe call it the core of the batting that we need to make more meaningful contributions so that we can stay alive in the series."

The former Zimbabwe batsman was impressed by Campbell and Bennett’s batting tipping them to go far with consistent performances.

“If anything, that has been the positive of the tour so far. We have had some of our not so experienced and younger players coming out and putting their best foot forward finding answers and playing positively. Brian and Jonathan were those two for us yesterday (Sunday) they were very good in their approach, they were very positive. They conducted themselves exactly the way we trained when we were preparing for this trip,” he added.

“So, it was good to see and you know as long as they keep working and they stay as confident they will play well for Zimbabwe in the future like they did yesterday (Sunday).”

Bowling all-rounder Masakadza is recuperating well and might be in line for selection for the third T20I  today.

“So far Wellington has done okay. He took that knock on the head in the first game, but he sat out yesterday (Sunday), we did everything that was asked of him to help him with getting better. He has been looking good so, obviously we are taking it by the hour,” said Matsikenyeri.

“We see how he is in the morning and then we make a call from there. But, so far the medical team is happy that he is coming through okay, hopefully he continues to improve.”

Zimbabwe will play two more T20I matches against Bangladesh after today.

Related Topics