Zimbabwe v New Zealand, 1st ODI, Harare October 19, 2011

Toothless Zimbabwe there for the taking


Match Facts

Zimbabwe v New Zealand, October 20, Harare
Start time 0930 (0730 GMT)

Big Picture

Can a wicket-taking bowler from Zimbabwe please stand up? New Zealand have so far faced a little over 31 overs on tour and clattered 314 for three wickets, one of which came courtesy a run-out. The Zimbabwean attack has been the epitome of toothlessness, at the risk of sounding insensitive to Keegan Meth fans. With the competition shifting to the 50-overs format, the tourists can afford to slacken the pace of their accumulation. However, there will be no let-up in their appetite for runs, unless Zimbabwe can conjure some incisiveness.

It isn't surprising that these teams have clashed only 29 times in ODIs. While both sides frequently figured in the glut of meaningless tri-series in the late 90s, organisers seldom found space to accommodate both in the same tournament. It has been more than ten years since their last bilateral series as well, a period in which they have clashed a mere four times. The last of those games was in the World Cup, when New Zealand emerged easy victors. Ominously for Zimbabwe supporters, the margin of victory in that game was ten wickets.

Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill were in pristine form in that match, as they have been in the Twenty20s here. McCullum in particular has shown a propensity to launch sixes into the stands and trees surrounding the Harare Sports Club. Given Zimbabwe's bowling woes, the ODI series should help him further his reputation for minnow-bashing.

Form guide

(most recent first)
Zimbabwe: LLLLL
New Zealand: LWLWW

In the spotlight

A dose of Ray Price's aggression will go a long way towards lifting Zimbabwe on the field. Armed with the mind of a fast bowler, Price trots in and lets the ball grip and rip, before breaking into the most exaggerated follow-through for a spinner since Brad Hogg's retirement. Given the carnage his team-mates endured, Price escaped relatively unhurt in the Twenty20s, but he will have wickets on his mind when the ODIs begin.

Jacob Oram's fairytale return from knee surgery in August 2010 has lasted longer than even he would have imagined. Oram initially expected to sign off with the World Cup, a tournament where he gave his all, most famously in the quarter-final shocking of South Africa. He hasn't batted so far in Zimbabwe, but expect him to unleash his trademark swings to midwicket when he gets in. Zimbabwe will find his wobblers from ten paces tough to get away as well.

Team news

Zimbabwe will be anxious to have Tatenda Taibu back after injury kept him out of the Twenty20s. Vusi Sibanda, too, missed the Twenty20-leg, bereaved by his mother's death, but is expected to return at the top. Zimbabwe juggled the batting line-up around in an attempt to find stability, but the lower order misfired in both games. A lack of options, though, might prevent them from making too many changes. Meth could come in for Charles Coventry, who isn't in the ODI squad.

Zimbabwe: (probable) 1 Hamilton Masakadza, 2 Vusi Sibanda, 3 Brendan Taylor (capt), 4 Chamu Chibhabha, 5 Tatenda Taibu/Regis Chakabva (wk), 6 Forster Mutizwa, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Keegan Meth, 9 Prosper Utseya, 10 Ray Price, 11 Kyle Jarvis

Kyle Mills is likely to reclaim his spot in the XI from Graeme Aldridge, who went for 45 runs in four overs on debut. The No. 5 slot will be a toss-up between Rob Nicol and Kane Williamson who both played a Twenty20 each, but were denied the chance to bat by the top order.

New Zealand (probable) 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum (wk), 3 Jesse Ryder 4, Ross Taylor (capt), 5 Kane Williamson/Rob Nicol, 6 James Franklin, 7 Nathan McCullum, 8 Jacob Oram, 9 Doug Bracewell, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Luke Woodcock

Stats and trivia


"To get over 100 two games in a row sets a benchmark. Brendon and Guppy [Guptill] batted sensibly and complemented each other very well."
Ross Taylor will expect his opening pair to continue to meet their lofty standards

Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on October 20, 2011, 6:39 GMT

    Am full of trepidation but anyway all the best Zim, I believe in you more than you believe in yourselves.

  • logesnz on October 20, 2011, 4:40 GMT

    new zealand will be to strong , they have way to much depth and class. Zim lack big game players and world class players. maybe in 3 or 4 more years they might get there. the new zealand team is starting to gel as a unit and the real strength is in the middle order. Go the black caps

  • Meety on October 20, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    I think the Zimmers will put up a stronger showing in the ODIs. Still NZ would have to be favourites.

  • dummy4fb on October 19, 2011, 21:46 GMT

    I think the article is a bit harsh. Zimbabwe just need to come to the field with a positive attitude, there showed a bit in the last t20.What ever score the opposition puts there should play with intent of winning . The New Zealand side has not been really tested beyond the opening pair , if Zim takes early wickets anything can happen . New Zealand are not going to achieve a white wash on this tour as they believe.

  • dummy4fb on October 19, 2011, 21:09 GMT

    This is a good NZ team even though it is missing Southee. Go the Blackcaps.......

  • elia on October 19, 2011, 19:55 GMT

    the bowling isnt attacking at all.think they should juggle with an extra batsman.zim should be clinical in their fielding.

  • Nduru on October 19, 2011, 18:29 GMT

    I think the author has got the analysis wrong (like in the last preview). It has not really been that Zimbabwe have been toothless, but more to do with a beauty of a batting wicket and an opening par who were able to take full toll (and who are one of the best T20 openiing pairs around). If anything, you should blame our batsmen who have not themselves used the track to their advantage - in the first, they were too tentative, and in the second, they showed how well it played, but still gifted 5 or more wickets. It also did not help Kyle Jarvis that he was denied McCullum's wicket off his first ball, and given a very harsh no-ball (the free hit then went for 4) by the same useless umpire. I hope Crmeer returns soon too as he is a true wicket taker.

  • dulabhai on October 19, 2011, 18:02 GMT

    Cricket is so intersting... BD whitewashed this NZ team... now NZ is whitewashing ZM who beat BD just a while ago..the same ZM who is going to be whitewashed again in december when they play BD...

  • dummy4fb on October 19, 2011, 17:28 GMT

    no ervine??? and chibaba instead?? zim gonna lose

  • dummy4fb on October 19, 2011, 16:04 GMT

    Why is Oram in the team? The man needs to step down and let some of the younger talent come through. Trent Boult anyone? Also why is Luke Woodcock even there? Sure he is one of the better spinners that New Zealand has but both Williamson and Nicol are good enough to be the 2nd spinner and IMO need to be used more.

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