By DANIEL NHAKANISO ZIMBABWE XI captain Sikandar Raza is confident that his charges will cap off what has been a positive one-day series with a victory against South Africa A in the third and deciding one-day match at Harare Sports Club today.
The hosts have so far matched the South African side made up of fringe Proteas players in the first two matches which have both been decided by the Duthworth and Lewis Method due to bad light.
The Chevrons won the first match on Monday by five runs after bad light stopped play with seven balls remaining.
South Africa A levelled the series by winning the rain-affected second match on Wednesday by 51 runs after Zimbabwe XI were 93-4 after 20 overs, in response to South Africa A’s 266-6 when bad light ended the game.
Raza, who has been in good form with both bat and ball, believes they had a good chance to wrap up the series on Wednesday, but will be looking to make amends today.
“On Wednesday, we made small errors and that cost us the game. We knew the game would not be going the distance and had to look after the first 10 overs and we couldn’t, but it happens, so we are hoping to do better tomorrow,” Raza said.
The veteran all-rounder says he has been impressed by how the Zimbabwe XI players have performed against a strong South Africa A side which has loads of international experience.
“I think we have played really well in the two matches, which is pleasing considering that we have done it against a strong SA A side. I think almost everyone in their team has played for Proteas at some point. Some, of course, have played more than the others,” he said.
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“These games have been very useful for various reasons, some of them being to see the depth, to provide opportunities for the new and some senior players and to prepare for qualifiers and I think so far.”
Raza will be looking to continue his good form after scoring a match-winning half century in the first match before scoring an unbeaten 39 in the second match.
Gifted middle order batsman Milton Shumba has also put his hand up for selection with very solid batting performances in both matches, while Prince Masvaure, who was a late inclusion in the Zimbabwe XI squad, impressed in the first match.
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