Zim fights for ranking points

The Chevrons are trailing 3-0 to their hosts in the T20I series ahead of the fourth and final matches tomorrow and Sunday, respectively.

ZIMBABWE senior men's cricket team interim coach Stuart Matsikenyeri says his team will treat their T20I dead rubber matches against Bangladesh seriously as they seek to win and improve the team's rankings.

The Chevrons are trailing 3-0 to their hosts in the T20I series ahead of the fourth and final matches tomorrow and Sunday, respectively.

Zimbabwe came agonisingly close to win the third match on Tuesday after an improved performance, but fell short to give Bangladesh an unassailable 3-nil lead.

Matsikenyeri admitted his charges have not been up to the required standards in this tour, and has challenged his players to salvage their pride and ranking points from the remaining two matches.

Zimbabwe are currently ranked number 13 in T20I rankings behind Ireland and Scotland who are number 11 and 12, respectively, while Afghanistan sits on 10th position.

India is on number one, followed by Australia and England.

"Ranking points are important, so whichever way selection for the next matches goes, we have to keep pushing for some wins before we leave here," Matsikenyeri told NewsDay Sport.

The Chevrons, buoyed by some impressive bowling display from pace bowler Blessing Muzarabani, came close to revive the series on Tuesday in the third T20I match.

The towering seamer picked three wickets for 14 from four overs.

This was after Zimbabwe captain Sikandar Raza elected to bowl first, with the hosts reaching 165/5 in their allotted overs. Raza and Faraz Akram picked a wicket apiece before the latter’s late onslaught with the bat, a 19-ball 34.

Opener Tadiwanashe Marumani’s 31 off 26 and Jonathan Campbell’s 10-ball 21 saw the visitors fall by just nine runs. Zimbabwe ran out of balls at 156/9.

“I thought we had a good chance at half way. The target was definitely not out of reach. Unfortunately, we just didn’t find momentum in the middle period of our batting, losing our experienced batters early didn’t help,” Matsikenyeri said.

“But it was pleasing to see that we still put our best foot forward and did our best to chase it down with our lower order who struck the ball pretty well. Massive positive with the ball from Muzarabani, thought he bowled really well, with good aggression and control.

Raza, who is struggling for form with the bat in Bangladesh, conceded he needed to up his tempo.

“We did fight well, but the fact is that the top five including myself haven’t done well. We needed to support Marumani and we could have chased it down. A lot of runs have come from the lower order, they have been working hard, but the results need to come,” said Raza after the match.

“We have several youngsters whom we are grooming, it’s not easy for them to come to Bangladesh and do well. Mistakes have happened, but I’m okay with them. Those three youngsters put up their hands (Akram, Campbell and Marumani), and they brought us close and I thought we might at one point in time. There have been a lot of positives and I’m really happy for them, but it’s the top order which needs to deliver for us.”

Related Topics