Zimbabwe: Hondo Braces for Afghan Backlash

CHEVRONS bowling coach Douglas Hondo anticipates a backlash from Afghanistan in the second and final Test of the series after Zimbabwe thumped the Asian minnows by 10 wickets, inside two days in the first of the historic clashes between the two countries last week.

The second Test begins on Wednesday at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi with Afghanistan looking to level the series.

It was the bowlers, who delivered the country's first Test victory since beating Bangladesh in November 2018 after bowling out the Afghans twice in two days.

While hailing the bowlers' performances in the match, making special mention of the seamers, Hondo says the team expects a reaction from their opponents in the upcoming match.

"We expect the opposition to have done more homework than us. So we need to step it up in our preparations on how we are going to end up overcoming whatever challenges they bring in the second Test. "We are preparing for all eventualities," Hondo said.

"It was really nice to see Victor (Nyauchi) and Blessing (Muzarabani) take their first wickets in Test cricket. It goes to show how hard work pays off in the long run. And also with the support of Donny (Donald Tiripano), the senior bowler, it was a really solid bowling performance," he said.

The three fast bowlers took 16 wickets among themselves in the first Test with Nyauchi and Blessing Muzarabani claiming six apiece in the match while Tiripano contributed five scalps.

It was only Muzarabani's second Test cap after making his debut against South Africa in December 2017. While the bowlers flourished, batters struggled for runs except for captain Sean Williams' match-winning 105-run knock that made the difference in the tie. Hondo believes the players are adapting well to conditions in Abu Dhabi.

"It is second nature for sportsmen to adapt, so I think we are adapting well. "We had some challenges in Harare and we have come to Abu Dhabi. The conditions are different, but we have to adapt as sportsmen. I think the guys are adapting very well," he said.

Zimbabwe are angling to claim their first series victory in 10 years since beating Bangladesh by 130 runs in a one-off Test match in August 2011.

It will also be the country's first Test series triumph against a team other than Bangladesh in 23 years.

The team beat Pakistan 1-0 in a three-match series in December 1998 and they have since won four encounters all coming against Bangladesh.

More From: Zimbabwe Standard

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