Zimbabwe XI confident ahead of Canada challenge
Fresh from its success against the Netherlands last week, a confident Zimbabwe XI heads into its next match against Canada today in the ICC Intercontinental Cup.
Zimbabwe has retained the same side which overcame the Dutch by 137 runs at VRA. Vusi Sibanda will lead the squad and according to coach Stephen Mangongo , the team is the right blend of youth and experience.
"It is good for Zimbabwe cricket that we are identifying a young crop that we can nurture. To me, that is a key element for cricket to survive. The youngsters in our current squad are very exciting," said the Zimbabwe XI coach in an interview with The Herald newspaper.
Star performers from the Netherlands game, Craig Ervine (145 and 59 not out), Stuart Matsikenyeri (68 and 44), Regis Chakabva (54 not out and 34 not out), Timycen Maruma (5-73) and Natsai Mushangwe (4-145) are also expected to play a major role.
"I am impressed by the efforts the players put in. We will hopefully get the desired results. We have worked hard with all the players to try and improve their skill and technique. We are not worried and I am highly confident nothing will stop us," the coach added.
The team will play a four-day game against the hosts beginning on Monday followed by two one-day games at King City. It currently sits third on the ICC Intercontinental Cup points table with 43 points from three games, which also includes a five-wicket win over Kenya and a drawn match against Afghanistan.
For Canada, Rizwan Cheema will captain the side taking over from Ashish Bagai who is rehabilitating from knee injury. Zubin Surkari is also out due to injury while Geoff Barnett and Jimmy Hansra are unavailable due to work commitments.
The hosts currently lie at the bottom of the points table with nine points from four games. It suffered losses to Scotland by 29 runs, Kenya by 247 runs, Afghanistan by six wickets and a drawn match against the Netherlands.
The full squads are as given below:
Canada: Rizwan Cheema (captain), Umar Bhatti, Trevin Bastiampillai, Hemnarine Chattergoon, Abzal Deane, Parth Desai, Calvert Hooper, Sandeep Jyoti, Nitish Kumar, Usman Limbada, Henry Osinde, Hiral Patel, Kevin Sandher, Hamza Tariq
Zimbabwe XI: Vusi Sibanda (captain), Forster Mtizwa, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Charles Coventry, Chamu Chibabha, Regis Chakabva, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Tendai Chatara, Ed Rainsford, Keith Dabengwa, Shingirai Masakadza, Natsai Mshangwe, Malcolm Waller, Timycen Maruma.