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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Masakadza stars in Zimbabwe's historic win against Pakistan

Zimbabwe  is a landlocked country located in southern Africa, between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers. It is bordered by South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, and Mozambique. It’s capital is Harare.  Understand that Zimbabwe has 16 official languages with English, Shona and Ndebele being most common.  Things are not all that well for this State and it is  trying to rebuild its tourism industry after a decade of conflict and hyperinflation.

President Robert Mugabe was elected for a seventh term in peaceful but disputed elections this month. Robert Gabriel Mugabe  born in 1924,  is the second and current President of Zimbabwe. As one of the leaders of the national liberation movements against white-minority rule, he was elected as head of government in 1980.  He won his seventh  term as president defeating Morgan Tsvangirai with 61 percent of the vote.

For Zimbabwean cricket, things are more tough.  There are enough role models in Flowers and Streaks……… but the struggling National side is not offering enough for its young players.   Recently,  fast bowler Kyle Jarvis, all of 24, quit international cricket so that he can play the game for counties and franchises and make some money while his body lasts.  Yesterday they made some history by beating Pakistan after 15 years.

Many will remember Zimbabwe beating famed Aussies in 1983 WC and pinning India down at 17 for 5 before cavalier Kapil Dev played innings of life. Even die-hard fans may not remember Charles Coventry who for sometime held the World record for most runs in ODI along with Saeed Anwar.  For many years Glenn Turner’s 171 was the highest till Kapil set 175 n.o in 1983; then it was Viv Richards 189 in 1984; Anwar’s 194 at Chepauk in 1997 at Chepauk – equaled by Coventry in 2009.  Months later in Feb 2010, Sachin Tendulkar scored the first ever double century in ODI – later to be outsmart by Virender Sehwag’s 219 in Dec 2011.

Hamilton Masakadza was still a schoolboy at Churchill High School in Harare when he set the record - since beaten by Mohammad Ashraful - of being the youngest batsman ever to score a century on his Test debut, at 17 years and 254 days. This was against West Indies in 2000-01 when, batting at No. 3, he scored 119 and saved the match.   Years have passed by and he was instrumental in Zimbabwe celebrating  their 100th ODI at the Harare Sports Club with a seven-wicket victory against Pakistan.  The success also ended Zimbabwe's 15-year wait for a win against Pakistan.

The Zimbabwe openers put up a century opening stand that set the platform for the chase. Hamilton Masakadza was the top-scorer with 85, while Sibanda also registered a half-century.  Set a target of 245, they reached it in style losing only 3 wickets.

Way back in Nov 1998 a much stronger Zimbabwe had beaten a classy Paki side.  Pakistan made 211 with a star studded batting line up of Saeed Anwar, Afridi, Aamer Sohail, Inzamam-ul-Haq,  Yousuf Youhana, Hasan Raza, Moin Khan, Azhar Mahmood, Wasim Akram ~ the other two being Saqlain Mushtaq and mohammad Akram.   Neil Johnson made a century as they won with 56 balls to spare. 
Hamilton and Shingi Masakadzas....

The MoM of yesterday’s match Masakadza has a younger brother who has also played for Zimbabwe - Shingi Masakadza,  is a fast-medium seamer.  He has so far played 3 tests and 11 One dayers


With regards – S. Sampathkumar

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