Zimbabwe: Chevrons Upbeat Ahead of 2nd Test

27 January 2020

THE Chevrons had a closer look at the flaws, which cost them the match against Sri Lanka last week, and are looking to bounce back with an improved fight.

The second Test begins at Harare Sports Club this morning.

Batting coach, Stuart Matsikenyeri, yesterday said the Chevrons need to fight tooth and nail to level the series after losing the first game by 10 wickets.

The bowling unit struggled in the first match when the tourists raked up 515/9 before declaring their innings in response to Zimbabwe's 358.

This was despite a good start by the top three batsmen, Prince Masvaure, debutant Kevin Kasuza and Craig Ervine, who all made half tons, for the first time in Zimbabwe Test history.

However, the middle order, which featured some of the most experienced batsmen, failed to provide support and their second innings of 170 all out was also not good enough to earn them even a draw.

"Obviously, the top order that we had laid a platform that we desperately needed in Zimbabwe cricket, which was very refreshing.

"But, we do think that we have a really good and experienced middle order which didn't quite fire as much as we had wanted.

"So, we finished the day on 189 for the loss of two wickets on Day One.

"From that start we would have wanted to get 450 runs. So, in the last couple of days we have trained quite well.

"It's just going to be about applying ourselves mentally. The skills are there so mental attitude has to be better going into the second Test," said Matsikenyeri.

The Chevrons are looking forward to their experienced players like Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Regis Chakabva, Sikandar Raza and skipper Sean Williams to come to the party.

There was good news in the Zimbabwe camp with opening batsman Kasuza available for selection after recovering from a mild concussion that kept him out of the first Test midway through the battles.

The medical team had been monitoring his recovery after he was hit on the helmet by a cricket ball.

Matsikenyeri confirmed during a pre-match press conference yesterday that the Mountaineers' batsman has been training well and they were waiting for the final signal from the doctors.

Fast bowler Kyle Jarvis is a huge doubt for the second Test because of injury.

Zimbabwe need the pace to be able to compete well and the selectors were yesterday still working on a replacement.

The Chevrons are playing their first Test series since November 2018 and Matsikenyeri believes they can still build from the positives they got from the first game.

"There was a lot of work that went into preparing for this Test match and, in the Test match itself, the guys did a lot of good work.

"The Test (loss) hurt the guys, so they really don't need motivation.

"Just the way they came in and worked in the last two days shows you that they are keen to come in and make amends.

"A lot of the guys here know and they believe they belong on the international stage and they certainly don't want to be in a place where they survive but they want to win matches for Zimbabwe.

"So, the hunger is there, we just have to make good decisions. I think the captain (Sean Williams) has been talking about that quite a lot," said Matsikenyeri.

Meanwhile, more international cricket is on the horizon for Zimbabwe after the Bangladesh Cricket Board yesterday announced the Chevrons will play one Test, three ODIs and two T20Is in Bangladesh in February-March.

The tour will begin with a two-day practice match in Dhaka on February 18-19, before the one-off Test in Mirpur, starting February 22.

The ODIs will be played in Chattogram on March 1, 3 and 6, before the teams head back to Mirpur for the two 20-over matches on March 9 and 11.

Zimbabwe last toured Bangladesh in 2019, for a tri-series featuring the hosts and Afghanistan.

Fixtures

22-26 February: Only Test, Mirpur

1 March: 1st ODI (d/n), Chattogram

3 March: 2nd ODI (d/n), Chattogram

6 March: 3rd ODI (d/n), Chattogram

9 March: 1st T20I (d/n), Mirpur

11 March: 2nd T20I (d/n), Mirpur

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