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Captain: Dave Houghton

This season began with Zimbabwe on the crest of a wave as far as one-day cricket was concerned, although less certain in the first-class game. The country was looking towards Test status, and the Zimbabwe Cricket Union, continuing their enterprising policies, arranged for strong Australian and English teams to visit the country. They were also looking towards the 1986 ICC Trophy competition in England, as the doorway to the next World Cup if they won. Dave Houghton had now taken over as captain after the resignation of Andy Pycroft. Houghton had the ability to 'read' a game superbly in the middle, but found more difficulty in communicating with his players and inspiring them as captain, in contrast to his later success as coach.

This season, however, proved to be something of a watershed. The seeds of the depression in Zimbabwe cricket which would last, with occasional periods of relief, until the granting of Test status, began to germinate. The England B tour, which had been so eagerly awaited, was arbitrarily cancelled by the Zimbabwean government due to the inclusion in the England team of a few players with South African connections. In England, the Zimbabwe Cricket Union was unfairly blamed for this, when they were just as much the victims of political interference and were powerless to do anything about the situation.

At almost the same time Zimbabwe cricket was dealt another serious blow by its own government when all-rounder Kevin Curran was declared ineligible to represent the country. Dual citizenship had just been abolished and the government had decided that only Zimbabwe passport-holders should represent the country in future. Curran chose to retain his Irish passport, as to surrender it would have cost him his career as a Gloucestershire professional. Shortly afterwards, Graeme Hick, widely acknowledged as a batsman of genuine world class, decided that his cricketing future lay in England and abruptly departed from the country which had given him every possible encouragement and support, even to the extent of helping him to play county cricket. Similar and related setbacks were to cause further problems in the future, and they were difficulties that Zimbabwe cricket could ill afford.

The season began promisingly, with little hint of the setbacks ahead. The Young Australian team, led by Robbie Kerr, provided strong opposition. Their team contained such players as Steve Waugh, Dean Jones and Bruce Reid. The programme, consisting of two three-day first-class matches and five one-day matches, revealed the course Zimbabwe cricket was taking, and the fact that Zimbabwe won the one-day series 5-0, yet lost 1-0 in the first-class matches, was also indicative of the skills on which the country's cricketers were concentrating.

A result in three days on the placid Harare Sports Club pitch could only be obtained if one team's batting failed, and Zimbabwe's did so in the second match, although they were the victims of a brilliant spell of fast-medium seam bowling by Dave Gilbert. They had themselves taken a significant first-innings lead in the first match, but were unable to press it home. In the one-day matches they continued their run of successes, although it took fine innings from Iain Butchart in the first match and Peter Rawson in the second to take their team home. They dominated the three final matches, which brought their tally of consecutive one-day victories to eighteen.

The Irish cricket team paid a brief visit to Zimbabwe in January, the highlight of which was a memorable innings of 309 by Graeme Hick in a three-day match which was not designated first-class.

The remainder of the season, after the cancellation of the England tour, was something of an anticlimax. India, after promising to send a strong B team, failed to do so, and the fact that Zimbabwe received any visitors at all was due to the efforts of Bob Radford, executive director of the New South Wales Cricket Association, who responded to a telephone call from Harare by arranging the visit of the state side within three days. Although under strength and captained by their wicket-keeper Greg Dyer instead of normal captain Dirk Wellham, the New South Wales team played good hard cricket. The Zimbabwe team and public, after all the uncertainty and disappointment, responded without enthusiasm and lost both the first-class and one-day series.

After an evenly-balanced draw, Zimbabwe decided to experiment with some younger players, deliberately weakening their team, and paid the price with defeat in the second match. The same selection policy prevailed after they had taken a 2-1 lead in the one-day series, and they promptly lost the final two matches.

Graeme Hick, despite being omitted from the final match, led Zimbabwe's batting for the season, with 332 runs in three first-class matches (average 66.40). Andy Pycroft, relieved of the burden of captaincy, recovered some of his consistency, and scored 274 runs (average 45.66). Dave Houghton was the only other batsman to pass 200 runs, scoring 228 at 32.57.

Peter Rawson again dominated the bowling, taking 18 wickets at an average of 24.05. The only other bowler to take ten or more wickets was Iain Butchart (11 at 27.45). With the enforced removal of Curran, Eddo Brandes gained a regular place in the national side.

Zimbabwe took part in the 1986 Trophy competition much more aware of what they would be up against than they had been in 1982, but with a harder task, in that they themselves had been weakened and the opposing teams had developed during the intervening years. Furthermore, after the Zimbabwe government's refusal to accept certain members of the England B team, the national side found themselves shouldering the blame and made much less welcome in many places than they had been before. Indeed, there was some feeling that in the final certain authorities had done all they could to prepare conditions that would ensure Holland the victory instead of Zimbabwe.

Unhindered by the weather this time, Zimbabwe won all six of their first-round matches easily, and raced to a ten-wicket victory over Bermuda in the semi-final. The final was affected by the weather and Zimbabwe had much the worse of the conditions. Robin Brown and Andy Waller played invaluable innings, and then the bowlers and fielders did their part to see Zimbabwe home and into the 1987/88

World Cup. Grant Paterson, a destroyer of second-class bowling, was the top run-scorer, with 345 at an average of 69.00. Also over 200 runs were Andy Pycroft (260 at 65.00) and Robin Brown 225 at 45.00). Five bowlers remarkably took more than ten wickets: Peter Rawson (18 at 11.55), Eddo Brandes (16 at 13.37), Malcolm Jarvis (12 at 9.41), Iain Butchart (12 at 21.83) and John Traicos (11 at 17.36).


(50 overs) At Harare South Country Club; 18 September. YOUNG AUSTRALIANS 270/4 (B A Courtice 69, D M Jones 87*, P S Clifford 70). ZIMBABWE COUNTRY DISTRICTS 158. Young Australians won by 112 runs.

At Harare Sports Club; 20, 21, 23 September. YOUNG AUSTRALIA 175 (G A Bishop 32, A I C Dodemaide 41; P W E Rawson 5/56) and 272/9 (D M Jones 70, A I C Dodemaide 36*; P W E Rawson 3/65, K M Curran 3/61, A J Traicos 3/78). ZIMBABWE 345 (A J Pycroft 37, G A Hick 127, D L Houghton 35, K M Curran 49*, I P Butchart 38; R L Brown 3/90, B A Reid 4/91). Match drawn.

(1ST ODI) At Harare Sports Club; 22 September. YOUNG AUSTRALIA 234/7 (R B Kerr 63, D M Jones 62). ZIMBABWE 238/7 (G A Paterson 73, I P Butchart 43*). Zimbabwe won by three wickets.

(50 overs) At Mutare Sports Club; 25 September. ZIMBABWE B 186 (C A T Hodgson 92, J P Brent 53; S P Davis 5/15). YOUNG AUSTRALIANS 190/1 (G A Bishop 129*). Young Australians won by nine wickets.

(2ND ODI) At Bulawayo Athletic Club; 28 September. YOUNG AUSTRALIA 220/8 (D M Jones 55, G A Bishop 43, S R Waugh 42; I P Butchart 5/56). ZIMBABWE 221/9 (G A Paterson 33, A J Pycroft 30, A C Waller 38, P W E Rawson 45*; A I C Dodemaide 4/28). Zimbabwe won by one wicket.

(3RD ODI) At Bulawayo Athletic Club; 29 September. YOUNG AUSTRALIA 113 (B A Courtice 33, A I C Dodemaide 36; K M Curran 3/30). ZIMBABWE 114/2 (G A Paterson 65*). Zimbabwe won by eight wickets.

At Harare Sports Club; 1, 2, 3 October. YOUNG AUSTRALIA 259/8 dec (D M Jones 59, S R Waugh 30, S L Saunders 53, M G Dimattina 64*; K M Curran 3/69) and 217/2 (B A Courtice 59, W R Kerr 68, D M Jones 43*, G A Bishop 41*). ZIMBABWE 126 (I P Butchart 32; D R Gilbert 7/43) and 285 (G A Hick 154, D L Houghton 37; D R Gilbert 6/75). Young Australia won by 65 runs.

(4TH ODI) At Harare Sports Club; 5 October. ZIMBABWE 217/9 (G A Paterson 46, D L Houghton 40; A I C Dodemaide 3/60). YOUNG AUSTRALIA 109 (A I C Dodemaide 45; I P Butchart 3/20). Zimbabwe won by 108 runs.

(5TH ODI) At Harare Sports Club; 6 October. ZIMBABWE 208/9 (A J Pycroft 68, A C Waller 44; R L Brown 3/52). YOUNG AUSTRALIA 185/8 (D M Jones 35, M G Dimattina 59*, R L Brown 40*; K M Curran 4/38). Zimbabwe won by 23 runs.


(1ST ODI) At Harare Sports Club; 22 March. NEW SOUTH WALES 232/7 (S M Small 34, P S Clifford 55, M E Waugh 33, R P Done 39*). ZIMBABWE 234/6 (A H Omarshah 34, D L Houghton 68, A C Waller 57*). Zimbabwe won by four wickets.

(2ND ODI) At Harare Sports Club; 23 March. ZIMBABWE 220 (A J Pycroft 52, P W E Rawson 53; M E Waugh 4/52). NEW SOUTH WALES 224/8 (M A Taylor 50, P S Clifford 32, T H Bayliss 57, P L Taylor 32*; G A Hick 3/28). New South Wales won by two wickets.

(50 overs) At Mutare Sports Club; 26 March. ZCU PRESIDENT'S XI v NEW SOUTH WALES -- match abandoned.

At Harare Sports Club; 28, 29, 31 March. ZIMBABWE 307 (R D Brown 33, G A Hick 40, A J Pycroft 90, A C Waller 30, P W E Rawson 48*; R G Holland 4/95) and 189/8 dec (A J Pycroft 61, D L Houghton 66; M R Whitney 3/37, P L Taylor 5/39). NEW SOUTH WALES 214/8 dec (G C Dyer 85; P W E Rawson 5/92) and 166/5 (P S Clifford 44, M E Waugh 51*). Match drawn.

(3RD ODI) At Harare Sports Club; 30 March. NEW SOUTH WALES 224/9 (M A Taylor 73, M J Bower 36, M E Waugh 39; I P Butchart 3/36). ZIMBABWE 226/8 (G A Paterson 44, G A Hick 77, A C Waller 52). Zimbabwe won by two wickets.

(4TH ODI) At Bulawayo Athletic Club; 2 April. NEW SOUTH WALES 186 (M E Waugh 61, R P Done 31; P W E Rawson 3/13). ZIMBABWE 125 (A C Waller 39; R P Done 5/21). New South Wales won by 61 runs.

At Harare Sports Club; 4, 5, 7 April. NEW SOUTH WALES 314/6 dec (R J Bower 31, M D O'Neill 132, M E Waugh 83, G C Dyer 30*; I P Butchart 3/53) and 155/4 dec (T H Bayliss 46, M D O'Neill 55*; E A Brandes 3/38). ZIMBABWE 184 (A J Pycroft 58*, M A Meman 36; R P Done 4/54) and 215 (D L Houghton 55, G C Wallace 70; R G Holland 4/71, P L Taylor 4/58). New South Wales won by 70 runs.

(5TH ODI) At Harare Sports Club; 6 April. ZIMBABWE 224/9 (R D Brown 39, P W E Rawson 48; R J Tucker 3/26). NEW SOUTH WALES 226/6 (M E Waugh 54, T H Bayliss 36, P S Clifford 67*, G C Dyer 42; I P Butchart 3/55). New South Wales won by four wickets.

(50 overs) At Harare South Country Club; 9 April. NEW SOUTH WALES 266/7 (S M Small 111, G C Dyer 33, R J Bower 51*). ZIMBABWE COUNTRY DISTRICTS 90 (R G Holland 4/7). New South Wales won by 176 runs.


(Warm-up match, 60 overs) At Northampton; 6 June. ZIMBABWEANS 249/6 (A J Pycroft 46, A C Waller 60). NORTHAMPTONSHIRE 254/3 (R J Bailey 57, D J Capel 73*, R A Harper 69*). Northamptonshire won by seven wickets.

At Moseley; 11 June. ZIMBABWE 315/7 (A J Pycroft 135, D L Houghton 31, A C Waller 39; Rafiq-ul-Alam 3/48). BANGLADESH 171/8 (N Abedin 37, G A Hossain 37, Rafiq-ul-Alam 35; M P Jarvis 4/28). Zimbabwe won by 144 runs.

At Sutton Coldfield; 16 June. KENYA 82 (P W E Rawson 3/16, A J Traicos 3/19). ZIMBABWE 85/3 (R D Brown 33*). Zimbabwe won by seven wickets.

At Fordhouses; 18 June. ZIMBABWE 357/7 (R D Brown 30, A J Pycroft 41, G C Wallace 77, P W E Rawson 125, I P Butchart 39*; A G Morris 3/53). ARGENTINA 150 (L Alonso 35; M P Jarvis 3/39, I P Butchart 3/30). Zimbabwe won by 207 runs.

At Kidderminster; 20 June. DENMARK 146 (N Bindslev 42, O H Mortensen 33; E A Brandes 4/21). ZIMBABWE 148/2 (G A Paterson 86*). Zimbabwe won by eight wickets.

At Egerton Park; 23 June. MALAYSIA 89 (V Vijayalingham 32; P W E Rawson 4/21, E A Brandes 4/13). ZIMBABWE 90/2 (A J Pycroft 31*). Zimbabwe won by eight wickets.

At Nantwich; 25 June. EAST AFRICA 140 (G R Sharif 72, B K Bouri 31; P W E Rawson 3/32, E A Brandes 5/37). ZIMBABWE 143/0 (D L Houghton 87*, G A Paterson 55*). Zimbabwe won by ten wickets.

(Semi-Final) At West Bromwich; 2 July. BERMUDA 201/7 (N A Gibbons 58, W A E Manders 33, O W Jones 35*; P W E Rawson 3/28). ZIMBABWE 205/0 (R D Brown 61*, G A Paterson 123*). Zimbabwe won by ten wickets.

(Final) At Lord's; 7, 8 July. ZIMBABWE 243/9 (R D Brown 60, A J Pycroft 30, A C Waller 59; S W Lubbers 3/44). HOLLAND 218 (S R Atkinson 31, R E Lifmann 41, S W Lubbers 35, R J Elferink 31; I P Butchart 4/33). Zimbabwe won by 25 runs.

It is intended in the future to produce full scorecards, and also much more information about all cricket in Rhodesia during this season. At present, the next entry in this section is for 1986/87


Date-stamped : 10 Oct1998 - 10:36