ICL: Indian Cricket League

South Africa unworried ahead of Zimbabwe series


South African coach Mickey Arthur saw nothing to worry his team when he watched Zimbabwe crumble to a nine wicket defeat in a 20-overs match against the Eagles franchise team here on Wednesday.

It was an unimpressive warm-up for the Zimbabweans ahead of a three-match One-day International (ODI) series against South Africa starting in Bloemfontein on Friday (today). Arthur was diplomatic, pointing out it was the first time Zimbabwe had played in a 20-overs match. “They have come off a good win against Bangladesh in the 50-overs version of the game and they are obviously more used to playing the longer form of cricket. I expect them to put up a better performance on Friday,” he said.

South Africa have not played a one-day game since making a then-world record total of 438 for nine in beating Australia in Johannesburg in March. A scheduled triangular series in Sri Lanka against India and the host nation was cancelled last month after the South Africans withdrew following a bomb blast near their hotel in Colombo.

Arthur said the objective in the Zimbabwe series would be to get his team tuned up for the ICC Champions Trophy tournament in India next month.

Zimbabwe, currently not playing in Test cricket following the loss of most of their leading players because of disputes with the country’s board, beat Bangladesh 3-2 in a one-day series in Zimbabwe last month.

Coach Kevin Curran said it was a young team who would be seeking to learn as much as possible against South Africa, who are second in the ICC One-day International (ODI) rankings behind Australia.

Fixtures: Sep 15, first ODI, Bloemfontein; Sep 17, second ODI, East London; Sep 20, third ODI, Potchefstroom.

Source:The News

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