With the Champions Trophy done and dusted, our attention turns to this three-match one-day series between the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe hit the road last week for their upcoming tour of Scotland, Netherlands and Sri Lanka in a bid to take away some success after some pretty dismal performances at home last year. Producing a drawn series against Scotland at one-a-piece, Zimbabwe just fell short of wrapping up the series after a rain-effected first game put them on the back foot as the home side drew first blood. Results aside, their were plenty of positives to come out of the two-game series with Sean Williams and Malcolm Waller both scoring fifties with the bat in the first match, followed by an unbeaten half-century from Sikandar Raza and a five-wicket haul produced by the captain Graeme Cremer in the second match. Zimbabwe possess some real firepower at the top of the order, the explosive Solomon Mire, the hard-hitting veteran Hamilton Masakadza who are complemented by a well-functioning middle-order. Their bowling attack on the other hand has it’s problems, the likes of Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu and Donald Tiripano are inconsistent and tend to go wicket-less quite regularly. The spinners tend to be relied upon which isn’t an ideal scenario in one-day cricket, we saw Cremer, Williams and Raza bowl 30 overs between the three of them in their most recent match against Scotland. Thankfully they took the bulk of the wickets in that game, but relying on performances like that is one of the reasons Zimbabwe have been easily beaten in the past.
The Netherlands last played back in mid-February, defeating Hong Kong 2-0 in Mong Kok. For an International minority team, they certainly pack a punch and have the potential to upset some big names on the International scene if they’re up & going. The batting order looks rock solid and it would be extremely unlikely that they make any changes to that department, Stephen Myburgh and Ben Cooper are huge threats at the top of the order and are both coming off solid performances against Hong Kong. Michael Rippon who also opens the batting has been playing domestic cricket in New Zealand for Otago, he also has the ability to pick up a handful of wickets with the ball when required. There’s no doubt that they rely heavily on their batting, similar to Zimbabwe but they have a more potent bowling attack compared to their oppositions which might give them the upper hand. All the way down to Pieter Seelaar at No. 7, the Netherlands are jam-packed with power hitting down the order which will allow them to attack late in the innings which gives them a real chance of knocking off Zimbabwe.
Top 5 fantasy picks | Netherlands | 1st match | Amstelveen
- Michael Rippon
- Stephan Myburgh
- Peter Borren
- Ben Cooper
- Roelof van der Merwe
Top 5 fantasy picks | Zimbabwe | 1st match | Amstelveen
- Craig Ervine
- Graeme Cremer
- Sikandar Raza
- Sean Williams
- Tendai Chatara
Team News | Netherlands
The Netherlands have released no information about the side that will face Zimbabwe in the first match (as of yet), but it’s likely that the side will look similar to the one that faced Hong Kong back in February.
Netherlands (possible) – 1. Stephan Myburgh 2. Michael Rippon 3. Ben Cooper 4. Wesley Barresi (wk) 5. Roelof van der Merwe 6. Peter Borren (c) 7. Pieter Seelaar 8. Tim van der Gugten 9. Shane Snater 10. Paul van Meekeren 11. Logan van Beek.
Team News | Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe have decided to leave out Elton Chigumbura yet again who’s form has taken a massive decline over the past 12 months, instead they’ve brought back opening batsman Chamu Chibhabha. Depending on the makeup of the team, Solomon Mire could make way for Chamu Chibhabha at the top of the order, or one of Mire of Chibhabha could drop down further in the batting order which could force Ryan Burl out of the eleven.
Zimbabwe (possible) – 1. Solomon Mire 2. Hamilton Masakadza 3. Craig Ervine 4. Sean Williams 5. Sikandar Raza 6. Chamu Chibhabha/Ryan Burl 7. Peter Moor (wk) 8. Malcolm Waller 9. Graeme Cremer (c) 10. Tendai Chatara 11. Chris Mpofu/Donald Tiripano.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.