Zimbabwe cricket team’s tour of Europe begins with two match ODI series against Scotland, then they travel to Netherlands to play 3 ODI matches. Zimbabwe plays its first ODI against Scotland on Thursday. Scotland who lost the most recent WCL match to Namibia at home soil on Tuesday, looks to re-group quickly and face Zimbabwe strongly. Two minnows are meeting each other in this context and they will assure lot of entertainment. 1st ODI between Scotland vs Zimbabwe is scheduled to start at 10:45 AM Local | 3:15 PM IST on Thursday, 15th June 2017.
The home team is set to play under their new skipper Kyle Coetzer who took a charge from Preston Mommsen since his early retirement last year. Meanwhile, Preston Mommsen returned to cricket in the recent WCL matches against Namibia by taking leaves. He is expected to play these two ODIs against Zimbabwe as well. Scotland squad is not revealed yet, we assumes there won’t be much of changes from the squad which faced Namibia this week. As not much of International teams visits Scotland, this is the big opportunity for the Scottish side to upset Zimbabweans and get attention of other teams.
Skipper Kyle Coetzer opened the innings with wicket keeper Mathew Cross in the matches against Namibia. Both of them provided a decent opening stand in both matches, so that opening combination are expected to continue in this game. Coetzer smashed a century on Tuesday, but till it was not enough for Scotland to over the line against Namibia. He generally scores runs quickly and the same expected in this match as well. Cross also has lot of experiences and he could offer big innings too. Calum MacLeod used to bat at no. 3 and he was not in great touch in the last match vs Namibia. He had good outing in this year county season and that would help him to shine against Zimbabwe. All rounder Richie Berrington is in good form and he scored 110 and 61 runs respectively against Namibia. He would play key role in this series against Zimbabwe. Former skipper Mommsen was also in good nick and he scored quick 49* in the first WCL match. He has plenty of experiences and once he available for this series, he could change the game at any moment.
The occasional wicket keeper batsman Craig Wallace and vice captain Con de Lange will strengthen the middle-order batting. Con de Lange is an all rounder and he could give you lot of points with his all round performances. Scotland played with 3 pacers and one left arm spinner against Namibia. Mark Watt does a spinners duty and did it so well. He could retain his place in the XI against Zimbabwe. The promising bowler in Scotland squad, pacer Alastair Evans was back in the squad against Namibia and he is expected to play against Zimbabwe. He would be a key bowler for Scotland. Safyaan Sharif and Chris Sole are the other pacers who played against Namibia. Shariff always does a good job for Scotland and he done the same against Namibia. He is wicket-taking bowler and could possibly gives you lot of points on Thursday. Sole also bowled well in recent matches and could keep his place in the side. Michael Leask, George Munsey and uncapped Scott Cameron are the players who warmed the bench against Namibia. As Scottish lost the last match, either Munsey or Leask would come into the XI.
Zimbabwe is set to play away matches after very long time and they are keen to win these matches in Europe, before travel to Sri Lanka in end of June. Fifteen member squad has named in for this European tour and the same squad will play against Sri Lanka too. Their regular limited overs captain Graeme Cremer will lead the team on this tour. He came with well mixed of experienced and young talents. Hamilton Mazakadza, one of the most experienced player in the Zimbabwean side picked for this tour and he is set return to International cricket after few months time. Chamu Chibhabha who was dropped due to poor form, find a place in this squad and he is expected to play key role in this 2 match series.
Ryan Burl made his ODI debut against Afghanistan few months ago and this will be his second international series. He did not play big knocks against Afghan, but played decently. That would give him an another chance in the XI on Thursday. Solid top order batsman Craig Ervine is in the squad and he has big role to play in this tour. He could be game changer for Zimbabwe. Sikandar Raza would strengthen middle-order batting along with experienced all rounder Sean Williams. Both are well experienced and expects them to be back on their real form in this game. Sean Williams is a promising all rounder and he done so well for Zimbabwe in the past. But he had lot of bad time in one year or so, now he is back in the squad and expects an A-game from him.
Peter Moor would take care of wicket-keeper’s job in this series. He is good batsman who used to score runs consistently for his team. All rounder Solomon Mire who was back in the squad against Afghanistan in February, retained his place in the squad this time around. He could play power hits in the middle-order and also capable of take wickets. Malcolm Waller is also in the squad, he is expected to warm a bench and might play back up batting role in this series. Pace bowler Tendai Chatara turned out as promising bowler of Zimbabwe. He re-filled the place of Panyangara and does a good job for his team. He may play key role for Zimbabwe and that case he would give lot of points to you. Remember he has picked 48 ODI wickets in 34 matches. Chris Mpofu, Musakanda and Ngarava are the other bowlers in the squad. Ngarava who made his debut few months ago, impressed with his bowling skills. He is expected to play 3rd pacer role along with Mpofu and Chatara.
KEY PLAYERS :
- Kyle Coetzer
- Mathew Cross
- Calum MacLeod
- Preston Mommsen
- Con de Lange
- Richie Berrington
- Safyaan Sharif
- Alastain Evans
- Sean Williams
- Chamu Chibhabha
- Hamilton Mazakadza
- Sikandar Raza
- Graeme Cremer
- Tendai Chatara
- Solomon Mire
- Chris Mpofu
POSSIBLE LINEUPS :
1. Kyle Coetzer, 2. Mathew Cross, 3. Calum MacLeod, 4. Richie Berrington, 5. Preston Mommsen, 6. Craig Wallace / George Munsey, 7. Con de Lange, 8. Safyaan Sharif, 9. Alastair Evans, 10. Mark Watt, 11. Chris Sole.
1. Peter Moor, 2. Chamu Chibhabha, 3. Hamilton Mazakadza, 4. Craig Ervine, 5. Sean Williams, 6. Sikandar Raza, 7. Solomon Mire, 8. Graeme Cremer, 9. Tendai Chatara, 10. Chris Mpofu / Donald Tiripano, 11. Richard Ngarava.
Play well!! Best Wishes from Team FCN!!