Chigumbura disappointed with side's batting lapse

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura was disappointed after Zimbabwe failed to chase down a target of 256 against India in Harare, losing by a narrow margin of four runs

Liam Brickhill
Liam Brickhill
Elton Chigumbura took 173 matches to reach his first ODI hundred, and he now has two in two games. Neither has been a matchwinning one, however - his second, in the first ODI against India was not enough to take Zimbabwe over the line in a 256-run chase - and despite his success at No. 4 for Zimbabwe the experience of moving up the order has been a bittersweet one.
"I was delighted scoring my second hundred," said Chigumbura. "I think it's my second or third time batting at No. 4 - most of my career I've been batting at number seven. It's a good challenge which I've enjoyed so hopefully I get more big scores like that. But the team comes first - it's always disappointing to lose the game. As an individual I'm happy with the performance that I did, but the main thing is the team. Being on the losing side is always disappointing."
Chigumbura was into the action by the 13th over, as Zimbabwe lost two early wickets, and remained until the end. Yet the highest partnership he was involved in was 86 for the seventh wicket with Graeme Cremer, after Zimbabwe's middle order stumbled through the chase.
"I thought the way we kept losing wickets, we didn't get the momentum we needed because we had to keep rebuilding. We kept on trying to build a partnership but up to the end when I ended up batting with the specialist bowlers instead of a batsman, that's probably where we lost the game. We didn't have specialist batsmen out there in the last 10 overs."
Cremer's admirable hand in the fightback ended when he reverse-paddled a high full toss to backward point off the last ball of the 49th over, with 10 runs still needed. Chigumbura and Donald Tiripano managed to scramble four from the first three deliveries, but as the match came down to the wire Chigumbura kept the strike and backed himself to hit a boundary. Bhuvneshwar Kumar's pinpoint accuracy made that impossible.
"I wanted to keep the strike as much as possible but I thought he bowled well in that last over so it was hard," said Chigumbura. "I was just waiting for the one that he was going to miss and make sure I executed well, but I didn't get any. It was disappointing after fighting so hard. When you come so close and you don't get over the line, it's very disappointing."

Liam Brickhill is a freelance journalist based in Cape Town