Zimbabwe Cricket Online
  The source for Zimbabwe cricket news


Editor: John Ward

Mail the editor

Zimbabwe Cricket Union




Issue 17, March 24 2000

By John Ward

Another week, another Test match - and another heavy defeat by Zimbabwe. It was a familiar story, too, of competing very well up to a point but being unable to sustain the pressure.

Once again it was the eighth wicket that swung the match against Zimbabwe. That particular wicket time and again has proved to be Zimbabwe's nemesis, the point at which they lose their grip. Most notably we had Wasim Akram and Saqlain Mushtaq adding a world Test record 313 for it just over three years ago. Then this season we had Steve Waugh and Damien Fleming for Australia, and Mark Boucher and Shaun Pollock for South Africa recording century partnerships for the eighth wicket that took the match out of Zimbabwe's reach. Now we have Jimmy Adams and Franklyn Rose doing the same thing for the West Indies.

"This Logan Cup competition can already be classed as a resounding success. Many players are having their first real experience of three-day cricket and are thus on a steep upwards learning curve. The competition has been dominated by a few players who are clearly a class above the rest, and many players are not yet of first-class standard - some it must be stated never will be - but this is a start. Manicaland and Midlands have been introduced to first-class competition for the first time, and it is arousing great interest in both these areas."
[More | Zimbabwe in the West Indies | Logan Cup]


Craig Evans on a record-breaking Logan Cup match

Craig Evans (153) and Dirk Viljoen (173 not out) set a new record for all Zimbabwean partnerships when they added 330 together for the fourth wicket for Mashonaland against Matabeleland in the recent Logan Cup match at Bulawayo Athletic Club. Here Craig talks to John Ward about the match.

"Well, we lost the toss, which wasn't great for us; we wanted to bowl first, but we ended up batting first. We didn't bat very well all round; we threw our wickets away, me included. Then we came back and we bowled pretty well at them; I thought we bowled very well, and ended up 80 runs behind. We lost a few quick wickets in the second innings, but we knew we had to get a lead of around 180 or 200 with a day to go, and fortunately myself and Dirk Viljoen got in, and we ended up getting a lead of 260 with a full day to go."
[More | Scorecard]

John Rennie on the Logan Cup

John Rennie had a major effect on the recent Logan Cup match between Matabeleland and Mashonaland at Bulawayo Athletic Club, both by his presence and his absence. His five wickets played a major part in bowling Mashonaland out for 170; his 63 was instrumental in Matabeleland's first-innings lead of 86. But then an arm injury put him out of the match; Mashonaland recovered and completed an eventual 276-run victory. Here he talks to John Ward about the match and his recent cricket career.

"When I was bowling my 22nd over without a break - maybe that was a little bit too much - as I bowled a ball I felt a click directly under my armpit. I subsequently found out that it's probably a ligament tear or a ligament strain under there. I tried to bowl a couple more balls but it was just too sore. It seems to have eased quite considerably over the last couple of days, so it will probably take six to eight days to heal. I've got to see a physio and see if we can get the healing process up and running quite quickly."
[More | Scorecard]

Mark Vermeulen on his maiden century against Midlands

Mark Vermeulen recorded his maiden first-class century, 197, in the Logan Cup match against Midlands played at Kwekwe from 17 to 19 March this year. He talks to John Ward about that match.

"There were only a few runs on the board when the first wicket fell and I went in. The pitch wasn't really doing very much and there was only David Mutendera who was bowling with any pace; the other opening bowler wasn't all that quick. They brought in Raymond Price pretty early, and he basically bowled through the whole innings. I just started off slowly; after the weekend before against Manicaland when I thought I was a bit negative, just because it was a longer game, now what I try to do is to back myself to hit the ball, and when I see it in the right place to hit I'm going to play my shots. I've decided that if the ball is in my area I'm going to play my shots, and that's what I did. My first hundred took quite a long time, but my next 97 came off 50-odd balls."
[More | Scorecard]


As the Tests end, Zimbabwe will be attempting to impress in the shorter form of the game as the C & W International Limited Over Series gets underway. Look out for live coverage of Zimbabwe's first match on April Fool's Day

The Logan Cup comes to a climax this weekend with the final round, and everything to play for.
[C and W One Day Series | Logan Cup]


Alistair Campbell is currently touring the West Indies with the Zimbabwe team. Here's some more installments from his tour diary, with his impressions of Zimbabwe's first tour of the Caribbean. Here we include excerpts describing the disaster of day 5 of the gripping first Test, and the first four days of Test 2.

March 24: Stunned on Miracle Monday Stunned! I suppose this is the only word that can sum up the mood of the camp. "So close yet so far" -- a cliche so often used yet one which offers no help. People who read this report who do not pride themselves on knowing much about the great game will only see statistics and probably wonder to themselves how a team chasing 99 to win a game failed to do so and how a team who had controlled the game for most of the match lose one hour of the game and lose the match.

The answers do not immediately spring to mind, but I suppose that is why this is such a great game and why we as players train so hard just to take part in matches such as this. Unfortunately somebody had to lose, and on this occasion it was us. We need to feel honoured that we were able to take part in such a fascinating and thrilling Test match.

March 26: Not part of the plan As I stated in my last report, we needed to let what happened in Trinidad go, and focus all our attention and energies on to the next Test match. We had our team meeting and made peace with the first Test and refocused! The pitch here in Jamaica is renowned for being a good batting wicket, and so it looked -- not a blade of grass to be seen and the surface was rock hard. We were in no doubt that if we won the toss we would bat, which Andy Flower duly did. There was a little moisture in the wicket -- left there to stop the pitch from cracking up too early in the match so initially the going was very tough as Ambrose and Walsh got the ball to seam and bounce. Grant Flower weathered the initial storm, but then edged Walsh to Jacobs and we were one down.

March 27: Fairy-tale stuff at Sabina Park: Today belonged to Courtney Walsh and to the West Indies. Courtney Walsh became the highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, surpassing the mark of 434 set by India's Kapil Dev. It was fairy-tale stuff at Sabina Park as Courtney Walsh ran in, one wicket to break the world record, and one Zimbabwean wicket to get. His home crowd of 10,000 people roared expectantly, and one could not help but feel that this was meant to be. Henry Olonga was caught at short leg and the crowd went wild as did the West Indian players. History had been made. In true West Indian fashion it was celebrated, and after the day's play there was much pomp and ceremony.
[Complete diary]


Recollections of schooldays in Zimbabwe, comments on Kenya and sponsorship and more.
[Your letters | Contact us]


Mark Abrams

Mark Abrams, appointed captain of Matabeleland for the 1999/2000 season, was thought of for several seasons as one of Zimbabwe's most promising young batsman. Unfortunately, to date that promise has largely remained unfulfilled. He remains an exciting batsman and a superb fielder, but has still to make the impact on the game that was expected of him, although he has not given up all hope of representing his country.

"I'd still love to play for the country, but that's hard now. It's gone very professional and you've got to train seven days of the week. You can do that if you're not trying to hold down a job. But I'm not out yet; I'm not going to stop yet. I would say at least another eight years, and hopefully I'll make my objective!"

Picture of the Week

Courtney Walsh
Courtney Walsh celebrates after
dismissing Henry Olonga -
taking his 435th wicket

Archive of past issues

Zimbabwe Cricket Online is hosted by CricInfo and supported by the Zimbabwe Cricket Union. The views and opinions expressed here however are those of the authors alone, and in no way reflect the official views of the Zimbabwe Cricket Union or CricInfo.

All material here is copyright Zimbabwe Cricket Online and CricInfo unless otherwise stated, and cannot be reproduced without the explicit permission of these bodies