The Sunday Mail
A positive mentality helped Malcolm Waller play freely in the first T20I against Bangladesh and help make what initially looked like a one-sided encounter into a contest.
Today, more of the same, from the entire team, will be required when the Chevrons meet the Tigers for the second and final Twenty20 encounter of the series in Dhaka.
The match starts at 1pm, local time.
Waller smashed a 20-ball fifty, the fastest by a Zimbabwean in international cricket, during his 68 off 31 balls.It was also his first fifty-plus score in international cricket after more than two years, the last being a 70 against Pakistan in a Test in Harare. “I just tried to go out there, and back my game, free myself up,” Waller said.
“I was in a similar situations in the one-day games [where] I sort of got a bit knuckled down and I felt the pressure. “Today (Friday) I told myself that we have lost four wickets, back your game and play your shots.”
Waller set to work, peppering the straight boundaries with sixes and went on to strike six of them, to add to the four fours in his 31-ball 68.
His method was as simple as watching the ball closely and depositing it to his favoured zones.
“I just tried to watch the ball,” Waller said. “I don’t just look at one area. I see where the ball is, and I got a couple of areas where I like to hit.
“If it happens to land there, I back myself to hit them. I like to go both offside and when they come a lot straighter, I try to open up the legside.”
Waller also said that the Zimbabwe batsmen were more positive but eventually their 131 wasn’t enough to challenge a buoyant Bangladesh side, fresh from the 3-0 ODI series win.
“I think the guys had nothing to lose in their thinking today,” Waller said. They went out there really positively, we put the one-day series behind us and we focused on a new game today.
“I think the total wasn’t big enough,” he said. “We had to go out there and get a couple of wickets early. We managed to get them. They were four down and we needed to just build on that.”
Waller also said that his job was to bat till the end, instead of targeting a hundred, after Craig Ervine and Luke Jongwe had got out.
When Waller was finally dismissed in the 18th over, the Mirpur crowd found its voice again, an indication of the impact of Waller’s record fifty. — Cricinfo/Sports Reporter
Form deserts newlywed Chibhabha
WHEN many expected him to head for a honeymoon, Chamu Chibhabha was in the plane to Bangladesh, on cricket business just 24 hours after his wedding to Natsai Dovi.
The Chevrons batsman loves representing his country so much that he could not afford to miss the ongoing tour of Bangladesh for anything, including being with his new bride.
But form appears to have deserted him, with Chibhabha managing a paltry 27 runs in the three ODI’s that Zimbabwe lost to Bangladesh.
Crucially though with an average of 35, 62 in 25 innings, Chibhabha is currently the ninth best ODI batsman in the world this year and the 29-year-old, nicknamed Mr Dependable, insists that he is just one inning away from a big score.
“I am a bit disappointed but it’s not something I am really worried about. I know I am just one inning away from getting that big score,” said Chibhabha in an interview from Bangladesh.“My mentality doesn’t change. I am still positive and confident that I will deliver.” Asked if he believes postponing his honeymoon has “cursed” him, the batsman replied with a hearty laugh saying: “You have got jokes man.
“I tell you this, I am proud of what I have achieved this year so far on and off the field. “Considering where I was with my cricket over the last three years I have done well. I have the most runs for Zimbabwe this year and I am among the top ten batters in the world at the moment.
And he hasn’t forgotten about the honeymoon?
“My honeymoon is waiting for me. I am going to enjoy it as soon as I get some time, hopefully after this tour,” said Chibhabha.