Innocent Kurira, Sports Reporter
THE Chevrons square off against Namibia in a T20 International series decider at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo this afternoon.
The two sides are level 2-2 after Namibia levelled the five-match series with a six-wicket win in a tense fourth match at the same venue on Sunday.
For Zimbabwe, a win will be their second straight series win in T20 cricket after they beat Scotland 2-1 in a three-match series in September 2021.
Zimbabwe won the decider by six wickets with Milton Shumba’s stunning knock of 66 off 29 balls propelling Zimbabwe to a thrilling victory.
Zimbabwe are using the Namibia series as part of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B, which is one of two global tournaments that together form the final stage of the qualification process for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 to be staged in Australia.
Namibia have already qualified on the back of their fine performances at the last tournament.
However, it’s the yo-yo performances that should worry the Chevrons when playing against International Cricket Council associate members.
That the associate members are making Zimbabwe sweat for what should be easy routine wins shows that local cricket is in limbo.
Associate members are rapidly closing the gap and will soon dislodge Zimbabwe from 10th place as a full member.
The Chevrons can easily be mistaken for an associate member, as they put themselves under pressure with some poor decision making with the bat and ball.
It is no wonder that leading cricket sides frown at fixtures against Zimbabwe and if nothing drastic is done, local cricket could find itself in an abyss.
After the Namibia series, Zimbabwe next face Afghanistan.
The series includes three ODIs and as many T20I matches.
The ODIs are scheduled for June 4, 6 and 9 with the T20Is set for June 11, 12 and 14 at Harare Sports Club.
The series had originally been scheduled for December 2021 and then postponed to February 2022, but was postponed due to the inability to arrange the required broadcasting services by Zimbabwe Cricket.
Afghanistan have played nine matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League so far, winning seven and losing two matches to Bangladesh.