In Cricket – at many times, the home team tends to enjoy all the home conditions advantages and increase their likelihood of coming out on top.
By Lewin Zoe
The home team has the privilege to prepare a wicket that suits their strengths or that weakens their opposition within the ICC confines.
Sadly, Zimbabwe seems to be playing their home games ‘away’ from home. It looks like they do not know their home conditions, strengths, and how to put the visitors under. The results are increasingly becoming common both at home and away.
Yesterday, Zimbabwe lost their 19th consecutive ODI match against Bangladesh. Clearly – it is now becoming impossible to beat them in this format.
Zimbabwe witnessed the Tigers of Bangladesh grow in the game of Cricket. Where other top nations shun playing with Bangladesh, Zimbabwe has been a brother to them tours were organized yearly from 2003.
A couple of decades ago Bangladesh would not stand any chance of winning against Zimbabwe in any format of the game up until they made use of their home conditions and Enamul Haque Jnr produced magic with his left-arm spin which led to Bangladesh’s first-ever Test victory by 226 runs in 2005 https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/zimbabwe-tour-of-bangladesh-2004-05-62021/bangladesh-vs-zimbabwe-1st-test-64121/full-scorecard.
From the Test match to the just concluded 3 match ODI series – Bangladesh has stamped their authority over Zimbabwe away from home.
In all games (4), Zimbabwe had the opportunity to kill the game at some parts of the innings through superb bowling spells which were spearheaded by Blessing Muzarabani and co.
During the Test match – Bangladesh once tumbled to 146-6 before Riyad Mamudullah scored his career-best of 150*.
During the first ODI Bangladesh was reduced to 74-4 before Liton Das lifted his side to 276 which Zimbabwe could not reach by a large margin.
Coming to the 2nd ODI – Zimbabwe almost defended 240 and at one point Bangladesh was on 130-5 as Shakib Al Hassan carried his team to a very tight victory.
Previously, the batter failed whilst the bowlers made great efforts. Yesterday, it looked like a different story when the batters put 298 onboard before the bowlers and the fielders could not fully control the game and Bangladesh won by 5 wickets with 12 balls to spare.
Harare Sports Club is no longer a fortress. Previously, nations would come and hardly fight for their wins.
Nations like Bangladesh would come to fulfill fixtures and not to expect much from the tours. We have victories with almost every full member nation here in Zimbabwe – but today the future looks bleak.
Over the past few years, we have been humiliated by nations like Netherlands, Afghanistan, and United Arab Emirates. We have lost our pride as a nation.
In 2018 we hosted the 2019 World Cup Qualifiers, and we could not make it whilst playing at home. We were heartbroken by minors UAE https://www.263chat.com/zimbabwe-cricket-fans-heartbroken/.
Just a couple of years ago, politics came into the game and ICC banned Zimbabwe for some time and we lost the opportunity to host the T20 World Cup Qualifiers.
Currently, Zimbabwe is not part of the ICC World Test Championship Competition and with this 3-0 whitewash by Bangladesh we are crawling at the bottom of the ICC ODI Super League and our odds of making it straight to the World Cup are very slim.
COVID-19 has ravaged our world today and it is even more tormenting being a Zimbabwe Cricket fan.
With the three-match T20I series starting this Thursday – the games are only to prepare Bangladesh for the T20I World Cup coming up later this year.
As for Zimbabwe, there is not much significance in them. A win would rather put smiles on the fans that are currently fragmented.
Zimbabwe has a better record against Bangladesh in T20I’s and they hope to end the tour with a consolation win and to bring much-needed joy for their fans.