On Sunday, the Chevrons will seek to turnover their fortunes as they go up against Nepal in their opening International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup Qualifier match at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Under the tutelage of celebrated former Zimbabwe cricket player, Heath Streak, the boys are smarting from another indifferent series that saw them go down to Afghanistan in a One Day International in the United Arab Emirates.
The 4-1 series loss saw two changes being made to the team as the Tatenda Taibu led selection panel buckled under pressure. Left handed batsmen, Cephas Zhuwao and Sean Williams were recalled to the team at the expense of Ryan Burl as well as Tarisai Musakanda.
Streak reckons the home conditions suit his chargesa�� bowling.
a�?We will certainly do better in these conditions, we are better than the performances we put up in UAE. I am backing us to play a lot better, Afghanistan is going to be a challenge. In UAE, the ball didna��t swing much, here the conditions will suit our bowling better,a��a�� he said.
Chevrons are likely to go to the battle without seasoned Williams who is still recovering from a finger injury.
However, if the warm up matches are anything to go by then the Chevrons have a mountain to climb as Nepal beat the United Arab Emirates by five wickets in a Tuesdaya��s preparatory tie. After Sundaya��s match Zimbabwe, who are captained by Graeme Cremer, will clash with Afghanistan on Tuesday. Hong Kong are Zimbabwea��s third opponents on 10 March at Queens Sports Club before they round up their group fixtures against Scotland at BAC two days later.
If Zimbabwe top their group, they will take on the winners of the pool A at Queens on 15 March in the only Super Sixes fixture lined up for Bulawayo.
From there, the action moves over to Harare and Kwekwe.
Zimbabweans would be keeping their fingers crossed that come 25 March, the Chevrons are one of the two teams in the final at Harare Sports Club. A place in the final guarantees Zimbabwe a ticket to next yeara��s Cricket World Cup in England.
Before the main event starts, ten warm-up matches will be conducted from 27 February to 1 March. The teams have been divided into two groups of five. Group A consists of Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, United Arab Emirates and Windies. Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Nepal, Scotland and Zimbabwe are in the Group B. The groups will play on a round-robin basis.
After the group stages, the top three teams of both groups will enter the Super Six round. Then the teams will play three matches against the sides that they didna��t compete against in the group stages. All points earned during the group phase will be carried over to the Super Six stage except those which were gained against the bottom two nations from each group.
The top two teams from the Super Six will contest in the final and also progress to the 2019 Cricket World Cup.
The 10 teams have been divided into two groups
Group A: Ireland, Netherlands, Papua New Guinea, United Arab Emirates and Windies
Group B: Afghanistan, Hong Kong, Nepal, Scotland and Zimbabwe
Harare Sports Club, Harare
Old Hararians Sports Club, Harare
Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Bulawayo Athletic Club, Bulawayo
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