After the disappointment of not qualifying for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, Zimbabwe are back to the cricket field again as they are gearing up to host Ireland in a three-match T20I and ODI series. The white-ball series will get underway with the first T20I on Thursday, December 7 at the Harare Sports Club.
The Sikandar Raza-led side was billed as one of the favourites to win the seven-team Africa Region Qualifier 2023 but losses to Namibia and Uganda left them gasping for breath as they finished third in the standings and thereby lost the opportunity to seal a place in the upcoming tournament.
Zimbabwe’s team for the series has a few noticeable changes. The uncapped duo of pacer Trevor Gwandu and middle-order batter Brian Bennett has been added to the squad whereas allrounder Tony Munyonga and leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta have been recalled.
The selectors have dropped openers Innocent Kaia, Nick Welch, pacer Tendai Chatara and slow left-arm orthodox bowler Wellington Masakadza after the Qualifier debacle.
On the other hand, Paul Stirling will be playing in his first series after being appointed as full-time captain of Ireland in both white-ball formats following the resignation of Andrew Balbirnie. Hence, he will have added motivation to marshall his troops well and perform at an individual level too.
Harare Sports Club Pitch Report
The wickets at the venue are normally on the slower side and allow the batters and spinners to dictate contests. The average first innings T20I score at the ground is 155 while the average second innings score drops down to 136 which suggests that the wicket tends to slow down gradually and it becomes tough chasing a total.
Harare Sports Club Record and Stats
Total ODI Matches: 39
Matches won batting first: 24
Matches won bowling first: 15
Average first innings score: 155
Average second innings score: 136
Highest total scored: 229/2 by Australia vs Zimbabwe
Highest score chased: 194/5 by Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe
Lowest total recorded: 99 all out by Pakistan vs Zimbabwe
Lowest total defended: 118/9 by Zimbabwe vs Pakistan
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