ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 / News

Kenya v Zimbabwe, World Cup 2011, Kolkata

Zimbabwe's World Cup ends with big win

The Bulletin by Liam Brickhill

March 20, 2011

Comments: 13 | Text size: A | A

Zimbabwe 308 for 6 (Ervine 66, Sibanda 61, Taibu 53, Otieno 2-61) beat Kenya 147 (Odhiambo 44, Price 2-20, Lamb 2-21) by 161 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Steve Tikolo is lbw for 10 in his final innings, Kenya v Zimbabwe, Group A, World Cup 2011, Kolkata, March 20, 2011
Steve Tikolo didn't last long in his farewell game © Getty Images

Zimbabwe's spinners completed the job started by their batsmen, sharing seven wickets as Kenya crumbled for 147 in pursuit of 308. This match was the last in the tournament for both teams, and with little but pride to play for, Kenya captain Jimmy Kamande had urged his team to give Steve Tikolo, playing his final game for his country, a fitting send off. It was not to be, however, as half-centuries from Tatenda Taibu, Vusi Sibanda and Craig Ervine carried Zimbabwe past 300 and Kenya's chase never got off the ground.

Chris Mpofu, the solitary specialist seamer in Zimbabwe's side, started Kenya's troubles by removing opener David Obuya in the first over, and three overs later Collins Obuya's run-out brought Tikolo to the crease for the final time in internationals. He got going with a couple of firm flicks to the deep-midwicket boundary but then played back to Price and was struck in line with leg stump to be sent on his way. In a touching sign of respect to the retiring Tikolo, the Zimbabweans rushed in to shake his hand and he left the field, clearly emotional, to a standing ovation from both teams and the smattering of spectators around the ground.

Alex Obanda, who appeared to have adjusted to the conditions and had progressed easily into the 20s, lost partner Tanmay Mishra to a top-edged sweep and soon followed him back to the pavilion as an arm ball from Price struck pad before bat as he stretched forward to defend. It was spin that did for Thomas Odoyo too, Greg Lamb ripping one past his defences as he played back in defence, and a successful review by Zimbabwe secued the dismissal.

Kenya were in the dire position of 73 for 6 when Odoyo was removed, and slipped even further when Rakep Patel slog-swept straight to Regis Chakabva at deep midwicket for the seventh wicket. Their rapid slide was briefly halted by Nehemiah Odhiambo, who swung his way merrily to an unbeaten 44, but it was only a matter of time before the tail capitulated completely.

Zimbabwe's innings had been built around two fluent partnerships. Sibanda and Taibu added 110 for the third wicket to help their team recover from a shaky start and lay a solid platform before Ervine and Chigumbura put on a rollicking 105 to boost the score out of Kenya's reach.

The batsmen initially struggled to impose themselves - after Chigumbura's decision to bat -on a cracked, dry surface that got slower and lower as the afternoon wore on. Odhiambo, who impressed with his pace and bounce against Australia in Bangalore, was brought on in the ninth over and with his sixth delivery achieved the breakthrough, a length delivery on a perfect line kissing the edge of Chakabva's bat on the way through to wicketkeeper David Obuya. Taylor followed soon after, playing too early as the ball stopped on the wicket to spoon an easy catch to mid-on as Zimbabwe slipped to 36 for 2.

Taibu and Sibanda were generally cautious as they set about constructing a partnership after the early wickets, but while the batting surface was not conducive to stroke-making the outfield remained very fast and both batsmen were quick to seize on the bad ball. While Sibanda was more orthodox in his shots, Taibu was characteristically innovative, twice reverse-sweeping offspinner James Ngoche to the boundary.

Kenya wasted both their reviews to contested lbw decisions in an effort to break the stand, but both Sibanda and Taibu barely offered a chance to the bowlers in the course of their partnership and Sibanda, in particular, soon began to take the attack to the bowlers. He reached a 54-ball half-century in the 28th over with an elegant loft over long-on but could have been run out immediately afterwards due a late decision from Taibu to turn a quick single down.

There had been several occasions of uncertainty in the running during the partnership, and one over later atrocious running finally cost Sibanda his wicket. Taibu was the man at fault, initially setting off before opting against the run, and with both batsmen at one end Sibanda didn't even bother to attempt to make it back to safety.

Zimbabwe's momentum barely dipped despite the wicket, however, and two overs later Taibu brought up his own fifty - and passed 3,000 runs in one-day internationals - with a scything cut to backward point. He paid the price for one cheeky reverse-sweep too many, trapped leg before for 53, but his dismissal brought Ervine and Chigumbura together for the decisive stand of the innings.

Once both had settled, they began to ping the boundary with ease and Ervine rushed to his fifty from just 46 balls in the midst of a batting Powerplay that yielded 50 runs and the wicket of Chigumbura - caught at long-on for a rapid 38. With 300 in sight, Ervine chopped a drive onto his own stumps but Lamb and Utseya continued the charge in fine style.

Zimbabwe wanted more from their World Cup campaign, but their resounding wins over Canada and Kenya will at least lend credence to their claim that they're too good to be lumped with the Associates as they look forward to a return to Test cricket. The end of Kenya's trip to India also marks something of a new beginning for them, and without Tikolo in their middle order it is now up to a clutch of promising youngsters to rebuild for what is, hopefully, a brighter future.

Match Timeline

Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Comments: 13 
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Posted by Betsy on (March 21, 2011, 9:39 GMT)

Everything will come in time - well done, Zimbabwe! You will get back to your winning ways as you nurture the young talented players. Remember: you cannot go forward by looking over your shoulder. Work with these great youngsters and the rest will follow. Learn from the positives and discard (and ignore!) the negatives!

Posted by Andrew on (March 21, 2011, 9:37 GMT)

I do agree with @MiejiMura that we did the bare minimum and there are lots of things that the selectors and coaches should learn and apply from this experience. I also thought choosing to bat first against Pakistan in perfect swinging conditions was a huge, huge blunder! If it is not Elton's fault, then who was advising him that it was a good idea? Where were Grant Flower and Heath Streak's wise advise in that situation? They were as much to blame. I also think that the constant chopping and changing is bad for the team, but I guess it is still a fairly experimental phase. As far as bowlers, I know the South Africans really thought Shingi was a handful, so I think he should be sent to a coaching clinic in Aus to hone his skills. Chris is also good, but needs development as even the TV comentators were identifying some improvements he could make. What about Chatara and Ireland - I think they would be good players to draft in for the future.

Posted by Justin on (March 21, 2011, 4:21 GMT)

I won't be giving the Zimbabweans any plaudits for doing the bare minimum they had to do, which was to beat by far the weakest associate nations at the World Cup, Kenya and Canada.

What was really worrying was the performance against New Zealand, the most closely-ranked Test Nation they played in the World Cup.

To be skittled the way they were in perfect batting conditions on a batsmen's paradise against an at-best modest bowling attack was a disgrace, and the resulting 10 wicket loss was an embarrassment.

How are the Zimbabweans going to play Test Cricket without a viable pace attack, with such an unsettled line-up, without an established opening pair and established and settled top order, and the non-existence of any clear selection process which sees major changes occurring from one moment to the next without any clear plan, strategy or way forward?

The powers that be in Zimbabwe need to come up with a plan and stick to it if Zimbabwe is to get anywhere in the future.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 18:10 GMT)

Well done Zimbabwe!!!! we will only be left to imagine what could have been if the sequence of events durung the last few weeks had ended as todays proceedings. two expected vistories and four expected losses. One feels zim could have done better against pakistan had the wether not taken away 20 balls from them or if chigumbura had opted to bat first. One feels if zim had had the chance to play these weaker side´s first and gotten into a groove. The batting is filled with potential , vusi should have been called up much earlier and maybe chíbhabha and hamilton inplace of coventry at least ...ervine showed his worth as did taibu and taylor , though the running and shot selection were a bit questionable to say the least from a few of the senior chaps..price utseya and co. did a five star jo as did mpofu , good discipline , needs to play more against tougher opposition ie not bang ire or nam or ned. looking forward to next WC the chaps should be battle hardened by then sure semi place

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

@Nduru, yes Chigumbura needs to relinquish captaincy to improve on his game. Utseya has done it before therefore he has some requisite experience; he's composed and brilliant with the ball, although captains are traditionally very good batsmen and/or wicket keepers. And yes, by all means bring Hamie back. Let Vusi stay as well; he has some experience, good batting techniques and plays good shots. Therefore: BT, Vusi, Masakadza, Taibu (W), Ervine, Chakabva, Chigumbura, Utseya (C), Cremer/Lamb, Price, Shingi/ Mpofu. Seamers need to be tactful e.g Mpofu's 1st over is always superb and thereafter he just lets go (wayward). Shingi needs to remain positive even when things are not going his way. He musnt try too hard to vary his bowling; he just needs to stick to good lines and lengths. Quick balls without a strategy are useless.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 17:49 GMT)

uuuuuuuuuuum zimbabwe zimbambwe kenya

Posted by Rakesh on (March 20, 2011, 17:49 GMT)

Zim must make Taylor or Taibu or even Ray Price as Captain. This will allow Elton Chingumbura to improve his game.He needs to concentrate on his bowling. Without able to bowl, Elton does not deserve to be in the team. What about gettingDoug Marrilier, Sean Ervine, Blignaut back?. Although Sean Ervine withdrew from WC, convince him of Tests. What is the point of playing cricket and just county as your ambition. It is better to stop playing. Gary Basllance, Grandhome, Travis FRiend if willing .This will give Zim a strong core.

Posted by mohammed on (March 20, 2011, 17:35 GMT)

woohooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!! @nduru correctly stated im happy with the win ervine has had an excellent world cup , sibanda not bad, but mi fav player taibu im so happy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hes made 2 good 50s this world cup chakabva has proved how useless he is!!! he couldnt score against kenya throw chakabva in the bin!! bring back hamilton,williams,rainsford and mupariwa and watch zimbabwe cricketing flourish!! @nduru wat do u think am i right?? hus ur fav playe in zim mine are: batsman:taibu,bowler:price

Posted by Suresh on (March 20, 2011, 16:52 GMT)

Zimbabwe still needs to go a long way, though they have won their final match. They definitely have a few talents.

Posted by Dummy4 on (March 20, 2011, 15:14 GMT)

I'd always admired Steve Tikolo as a classy strokemaker and handy bowler. Farewell to a legend.

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