April 6, 2000

Everton Matambanadzo on Zimbabwe A's match against Kenya

Everton Matambanadzo returned to bowling form in Zimbabwe A's second match of the Emerging Nations tournament, against Kenya, when he took four good wickets in a match left drawn after rain in mid-afternoon. He talks to John Ward about the match.

JW: Everton, can you describe the conditions during the match, please?

EM: When we arrived this morning the pitch looked quite hard, a good batting track, and there was a bit of moisture and some grass there so we decided to bowl. Bryan Strang and I were hoping to use the new ball quite well and we did; we got two early wickets. We had them in trouble quickly at 12 for two, and then they batted quite well; they just grafted their runs. Tikolo stroked it quite nicely, timed the ball very well, played some good shots off Craig Evans, and then we got him out and wickets fell from then on.

JW: Which other batsmen impressed you?

EM: I thought Maurice Odumbe and the left-hander Hitesh Modi played well and put on quite a good partnership there just when they needed it. Unfortunately for them they got out at a crucial stage for them, but that's just one of those things; you've got to play shots and can't just sit on the handle all day.

JW: Can you describe how you took your wickets?

EM: The first one was bowled, Francis Otieno, with an off-cutter that he misread and it knocked him over. I was bowling away-swingers to the other guy, and I'm sure he was told it was going to be away-swingers and he was looking to leave it, but it jagged back. My second wicket was Odumbe. He chased a wide one and was caught at third man.

Then I yorked the left-hander, Modi, a reverse-swinger from around the wicket, and then Thomas Odoyo. I did him with a slower ball. He had missed a couple of them earlier on, so I started off bowling him yorkers and slower balls, and he was caught at deep square leg.

JW: You looked to be bowling pretty well, better than I've seen you for some time.

EM: I had a nice rhythm; I decided I was just going to let it go and bowl as quick as I can, and whatever happens, happens.

JW: Who else bowled well?

EM: Bryan Strang bowling very well; he swung it, he seamed it, he bowled line and length, especially up front. At the end he picked up three wickets, and with the tail-enders it's good bowling; he just bowled straight and if they missed he hit. Of the spinners Gavin Rennie surprisingly bowled quite well, and they didn't play him very well. He came from over the wicket, bowled on off stump and they just couldn't get him away. He got two wickets for almost nothing. Raymond Price did okay; he did a good job for us, but in my opinion bowled too many arm balls, which denied him wickets. I think if he had bowled more spinners he would have taken wickets too.

JW: There was pretty good support in the field.

EM: Yes, the fielding was pretty good. As is usual in these matches we had our ups and downs, some bad patches, especially between the fifteenth and twentieth overs. The guys got a bit tired after quite a long session for us. But after then we picked up and we kept up the pressure to the end.

JW: What are your comments about the Zimbabwean innings, as far as it went?

EM: We seemed to start very well. Mark Vermeulen was stroking it with good timing, played a lot of shots, gave some chances but at the same time gave us a great start. We got to 50 in eight overs, between him and Doug Marillier, which put us in a good position to kick on and chase a total like 220. When we have a good opening stand like that, it simplifies the chase.

JW: It's a pity the rain should come with the match so well balanced.

EM: Yes, yes. Under the new rules we have to play 25 overs to constitute a match, so hopefully we'll get back on and get those five overs bowled. I know we only need four runs to do it [without losing a wicket].

JW: A much better performance than yesterday, I thought.

EM: I didn't watch all of yesterday's game, but certainly there was a lot more purpose about the batting. I watched bits and pieces, but the way the innings started, at least. You could see, we had a game plan when we went out there to try and achieve this total, rather than walking out there and just batting.