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The Preview by Firdose Moonda
March 18, 2014
March 19, 2014, Sylhet Start time 1530 (0930GMT)
A player unhappy over non-selection, a public war of words, an investigation, a team's management scrambling to save face, a clearance, and a group of men responding on the field with a thumping victory to show none of the behind-the-scenes issues are affecting them too much. Sounds a lot like Zimbabwe, doesn't it? But it's not.
This was how Netherlands began their World T20 outing. By comparison, Zimbabwe's first few days at the event have been calm.
Brendan Taylor's men shook off months of inactivity by featuring in the match of the qualifiers so far. Their opener against Ireland went down to the last ball but they ended up on the wrong end of the result.
It's last-gasp time for Brendan Taylor and Co. Having recognised the importance of qualifying for the main draw and slipping up early, they have to win their next two matches and hope someone else (Ireland) stumbles along the way. Their fate may already be out of their hands, but Zimbabwe have a reputation to protect and, after the hurt of Monday, can be expected to be fierce in their attempts to do so.
Netherlands have already showed the fight of a wounded group. After losing their ODI status earlier this year and with the backroom drama, they turned in a clinical performance against the UAE to demonstrate the threat they could pose at this event. Victory over Zimbabwe will set up a showdown with Ireland, if they beat the UAE. Netherlands will want nothing less than to take it down to the final match of the group and to give themselves every chance of playing in the main draw.
Form guide(completed matches, most recent first)
Watch out for
He does not have Tinashe Panyangara's obvious never-say-die attitude or his toe-crunching yorker but Tendai Chatara has determination of his own which serves Zimbabwe just as well. Chatara is miserly and gave away only 20 runs in the four overs he bowled against Ireland. He has also perfected the slower ball and can change his pace to suit conditions and fox batsmen.
Stephan Myburgh will feel right at home playing against Zimbabwe, because they used to be his neighbours. Myburgh was born in Pretoria and played some of his cricket for Northerns before moving to Netherlands. Myburgh has already made his presence felt in the tournament, with the only half century for his team so far, and will want to make an even bigger impact against the team South Africans think of as their little brothers.
Zimbabwe do not need to make drastic changes after a decent all-round showing against Ireland, but there are areas of their line-up they can tinker. Vusi Sibanda could be brought up to open the batting with Hamilton Masakadza, which may allow for Malcolm Waller to slot in at No.4. If Waller plays, Zimbabwe will have an extra spin option and could bring in big-hitting bowling allrounder Shingi Masakadza to bolster the lower order.
Zimbabwe: 1 Hamilton Masakadza 2 Sikandar Raza/Vusi Sibanda, 3 Brendan Taylor (cpt, wk), 4 Vusi Sibanda/Malcolm Waller, 5 Sean Williams, 6 Elton Chigumbura, 7 Timycen Maruma/Shingi Masakadza, 8 Prosper Utseya, 9 Tinashe Panyangara, 10 Tendai Chatara, 11 Tafadzwa Kamungozi
Netherlands may not want to tinker with a winning combination, especially one that earned such a comprehensive victory over UAE, but they may revise aspects of their seam department. Logan van Beek was expensive, which could see Vivian Kingma debut, although inexperience could count against him in a crucial match.
Netherlands: 1 Stephan Myburgh, 2 Michael Swart, 3 Wesley Barresi, 4 Tom Cooper, 5 Peter Borren, 6 Ben Cooper, 7 Logan van Beek, 8 Mudassar Bukhari, 9 Timm van der Gugten, 10 Pieter Seelaar, 11 Ahsan Malik
The international cricketing world got a first look at the Sylhet surface on Monday and it proved a typically Bangladeshi one. It was slow and took turn but there was also a little on offer for the seamers, especially as the afternoon wore on. Zimbabwe found some swing and Taylor said he felt as though his team was always in the match. It's expected to be a warm and humid day so there should be more of the same. As a result, batting is tricky to a newcomer at the crease but for those who get themselves in, there are runs to be found.
Stats and Trivia
"They are all experienced players and have played enough cricket. It has to come from within themselves. I am pretty sure that they know what they need to do to improve."
Brendan Taylor believes Zimbabwe's batsmen have what it takes to come back strongly
"It's going to be a tough game against a team we haven't played very often. We can say that they have a varied attack and a dangerous batting line-up."
Peter Borren is wary of the threat he thinks Zimbabwe will pose
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondentFeeds: Firdose Moonda
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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