Batting was the difference in the series, admits Zimbabwe skipper Musonda

Mary-Anne Musonda playing a shot. © Zimbabwe Cricket

Zimbabwe made history by playing their first-ever One Day International series against Ireland earlier this month. After winning the first match of the series, the hosts lost the series 3-1 against a dominant Ireland side. Zimbabwe’s head coach, Adam Chifo, admitted that the hosts could have done better in the series, but they have learned their lessons from the loss.

“Not the result we were hoping for at the end, but many lessons learnt. It is clear from how we played that going forward into the qualifiers we need to be a lot more smarter than we were in all departments,” Chifo told News Day.

“We did well in the first match, but I thought we sort of let the series slip away from us from the second match. We needed to apply ourselves with the bat, especially the top four batters but we didn’t do that, especially when we had a good start and failed to go on and make good scores. Our bowling needs to be more disciplined and more consistent complimented by good fielding.”

Ireland, who let the first ODI slip after scoring a challenging 253 for 8, came roaring back into the series thanks to their batters who posted scores of 286 for 7 and 312 for 3 in the second and fourth matches, and also chased down a target of 179 with 11 overs and eight wickets to spare. Young Amy Hunter created history in the final ODI, becoming the youngest batter to score an ODI ton. Hunter’s achievements aside, the top order of Gaby Lewis (263), Laura Delany (191) and Leah Paul (183) were extremely consistent, each recording at least two half-centuries in the series.

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Zimbabwe’s captain Mary-Anne Musonda, who herself created history by becoming the first player to score a century for her country, reflected on the defeat and said her team needed to execute their plans better, adding that it was Ireland’s batters who made the difference through the series.

“If you look at the starts quite closely, you will see that Ireland consistently played well with the bat,” she said. “So it means we were not able to break their partnerships upfront and they were able to do that and that’s where the difference is. When it came to batting, we had very slow starts throughout the tournament.”

“So I think if we start well either if we are batting or bowling — good stats with the ball, we strike early, restrict them to a total that’s gettable I think we’ll come into bat and we chase the score in a comfortable way as well,” concluded.

Zimbabwe’s next assignment is against Bangladesh – an ODI series ahead of the global tournament scheduled to begin on November 21.