Country Club will play their first Zimbabwe Cricket National League match in a decade when they host Old Malvernians in a first round clash at CFX Sports Club.Country Club slid into the doldrums in 2004 when they lost some of their key players and decided to play social cricket.
However, the club reconstituted in 2013 with the assistance of former Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell and went on to win the Vigne Cup T20 title last month.
Their manager Devon Martin is confident his team will carry their fine form into today’s match.
“We have got a winning recipe when we are playing at home. We will prepare a grassy and bouncy pitch and we expect some movement from our fine bowling attack.
“We are missing some of our top players who are participating in an anti-poaching awareness match in Kwekwe, but I have confidence in our team that has a mixture of youngsters and experienced players.
“Our cricket is getting better and I am convinced we will win against Old Malvernians. We respect them, but I think we are the favourites,” said Martin.
Country Club enjoy a better head-to-head record over Old Malvernians, but the absence of key players like skipper Brendan Taylor, Malcolm Waller and Hamilton Masakadza could be a setback for the returnees.
OMs coach Tererai Mubwandarikwa concedes that the hosts are favourites, but believes his club can cause an upset.
“Country Club are clear favourites; they are coming from winning the T20 Cup and we respect them, but we have beaten big teams before, so we can do it again,” said Mubwandarikwa.
Malvernians will be assessing the fitness of former Zimbabwe U-19 all-rounder Dylan Hondo, who is struggling with a back injury.
Meanwhile, Queens Sports Club will host Harare League winners Old Hararians in Bulawayo today.
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