Harare – After a year without Test cricket, Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor praised his sidea��s competitiveness against top-ranked South Africa that suggests they deserve a greater share of the international calendar.
The Proteas claimed a nine-wicket victory on Tuesday as the shadows lengthened on day four of a one-off Test match they never looked like losing, but were made to work harder than expected to beat a determined Zimbabwe side. The credit for that should go to the home bowling attack and Taylor himself, not just for his innings of 93 on day one that deserved a hundred, but also the way he captained the side within the limitations of his resources.
a�?For guys that havena��t played a lot of cricket, we can be very proud of 80 percent of the cricket we played. I wanted to go five days,a�? he told reporters.
a�?I felt we were good enough to do that and if we had a better session after lunch (on day four) we might have done that.a�?
The Harare Sports Club curator produced a wicket that was perfectly suited to Zimbabwea��s bowling, turn on day one to assist the spinners and abrasive enough to slow down their moderately paced seam attack, making scoring difficult.
a�?Our seamers were exceptional. Tinashe (Panyangara) didna��t get hit for a boundary in 30 overs in the first innings – thata��s a huge plus. Tendai Chatara backed him up well and even Donald (Tiripano) bowled some really good deliveries,a�? he added.
a�?This will give them a lot of belief that they restricted two of the best batsmen in the world in AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla.a�?
Taylor admits his side were daunted by the prospect of facing the Proteasa�� lethal pace attack of Dale Steyn. Morne Morkel and Vernon Philander, but with a wicket intended to quell the threat, the batsmen coped better than expected. Zimbabwe have no Test matches scheduled at home in the near future but travel to Bangladesh for a three-match series starting on Oct. 26. Perhaps that tour will be the true acid-test of this sidea��s potential and their place in the world game. – Online