Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has re-deployed national team coach Stephen Mangongo.
Speaking at a news conference in the capital today, ZC chairman Wilson Manase said, with immediate effect, Mangongo will now work in talent identification and development at age-group level.
“Mangongo is good at identifying talent. Four or five of the current senior men’s team players have come through his hands and so the board decided to send him back to his area of strength, while we get someone more experienced to replace him as national team head coach,” said Manase.
He said the board is looking at having someone in place as head coach by the end of the month, so that they can start working with the senior players in continued preparation for the 2015 International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup.
Manase also revealed that as part of their efforts to improve performance, they have widened the national selection panel. In addition to convenor Givemore Makoni and his deputy Babu Meman, the panel will also include the senior team head coach, assistant coach Douglas Hondo and the team captain.
Zimbabwe have qualified for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Global qualifiers, after finishing top of the continental qualifiers.
The final match of the ICC Pepsi Africa Women’s Trophy between Zimbabwe and Tanzania in Benoni, South Africa, was rained off today, leaving Zimbabwe winners after the points were shared.
The top four teams at the Global qualifiers in Thailand will proceed to the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 tournament, which will be held in India in March 2016.
Yesterday, Zimbabwe faced Namibia in the morning match and they batted first, posting a competitive 150 for four in their allotted 20 overs. Skipper Chipo Mugeri, by far the best batting talent in the team, yet again shone like a beacon in her knock of 68 runs. Modester Mupachikwa chipped in with a handy 44.
Namibia’s response never found any momentum, with wickets falling at regular intervals, eventually managing just 102 for five in their 20 overs. Zimbabwe’s bowlers were stingy with runs, with Audrey Mazvishaya (2/19) and Precious Marange (1/15) leading the onslaught.
Zimbabwe’s afternoon match was against Tanzania, who had pulled a surprise by beating the formidable South Africa Invitation XI team. Tanzania batted first and was bowled out for 61 runs inside 19.4 overs. All-rounder Precious Marange claimed three wickets for 14 runs, while Thando Mlilo also contributed with three wickets of her own for just 16 runs.
Zimbabwe’s run chase was not smooth sailing with four wickets falling, but Lorraine Tshuma (24*) and Precious Marange (14*) steadied the ship to ensure a six-wicket win over Tanzania.
Six teams competed in the tournament: Kenya, Namibia, South Africa Invitational XI – because the senior women’s team has already qualified for the global cricket showcase, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe were bidding to qualify for the global Twenty20 showcase for the first time after finishing fifth in the 2013 Global qualifiers in Ireland. Results
Zimbabwe – 150 for 4 in 20 overs (Chipo Mugeri 68, Modester Mupachikwa 44; I. Van Zyl 3/32) Namibia – 102 for 5 in 20 overs (C. Esterhuysen 22; Audrey Mazvishaya 2/19, Precious Marange 1/15) Zimbabwe won by 48 runs.
Tanzania – 61 all out in 19.4 overs (M. Iddi 28; Precious Marange 3/14, Thando Mlilo 3/16) Zimbabwe – 63 for 4 in 10.4 overs (Lorraine Tshuma 24*, Precious Marange 14*, M. Shakim 2/15) Zimbabwe won by six wickets.
Zimbabwe – 88 for 7 in 20 overs (Precious Marange 25*, Chipo Mugeri 19; Akona Nyiki 2/16, Ayabonga Khaka 2/11) SA Invitational XI – 89 for 4 in 18 overs (Andrie Steyn 25, Nikita Sole 19; Josephine Nkomo 3/13, Christabel Chatonzwa 1/13) SA Invitational XI won by 6 wickets.
Kenya – 61 for 5 in 20 overs (Sylvia Kinyua 18*; Esther Mbofana 1/10, Audrey Mazvishaya 1/14) Zimbabwe – 62 for 1 in 10.2 overs (Ashley Ndiraya 27*, Chipo Mugeri 18; S. Bhakita 1/24) Zimbabwe won by 9 wickets.
Uganda – 70 for 8 in 20 overs (N. Kayondo 13; Tasmeen Granger 3/18, Esther Mbofana 2/11) Zimbabwe – 72 for 1 in 12.4 overs (Chipo Mugeri 49*, Modester Mupachikwa 16; C Aweko 1/25) Zimbabwe won by 9 wickets.
Squad Chipo Mugeri (captain), Priviledge Charumbira, Christabel Chatonzwa, Sarah Dambanevana, Chiedza Dhururu, Tasmeen Granger, Precious Marange, Sharne Mayers, Audrey Mazvishaya, Esther Mbofana, Thandakwenkosi Mlilo, Pellagia Mujaji, Modester Mupachikwa, Anesu Mushangwe, Mary Anne Musonda, Nomatter Mutasa, Ashley Ndiraya, Josephine Nkomo, Nomvelo Sibanda, Ellen Tshuma and Loreen Tshuma.
After the disastrous showing of Zimbabwe’s spin bowlers in Bangladesh, a new candidate has emerged for a place in the national team.
Tapiwa Mufudza, the 24-year-old Mountaineers off-spinner, played the leading role in demolishing the Mid-West Rhinos’ second innings, taking seven wickets for only 31 runs and helping his team to a nine-wicket victory.
Mufudza started learning cricket at the age of seven, at Mbizi Primary School in Highfield, Harare. Right from the start, he was an off-spinner. He did not play much at high school, but he joined the Takashinga junior team. He progressed to the club’s first team and played for them for about two years, before Stephen Mangongo recruited him for Mountaineers. Mufudza first played for the franchise in the B League, and made his debut in Logan Cup cricket in the 2011/12 season.
With the leg-spinner Natsai M’shangwe already established in the Mountaineers team, backed up by first Gregory Lamb and last season Wellington Masakadza, it has been difficult for Mufudza to nail down a regular place in the Mountaineers team.
Two seasons ago, though, in 2012/13, he did come to notice with two fine performances.
One was in the Logan Cup match against Southern Rocks at Mutare Sports Club, where in the second innings he took five wickets to bowl the opposition out cheaply and win the match.
The other was what Mufudza considers to be the best performance of his career so far, even more than his triumph in the match just completed.
It was in the Twenty20 final against Mashonaland Eagles at Harare Sports Club, when he opened the bowling and took four wickets for 14 runs, including the top three batsmen, Cephas Zhuwao, Sikandar Raza Butt and Chamunorwa Chibhabha. Mashonaland Eagles were bowled out for 106 and Mountaineers won easily by seven wickets.
Mufudza feels his main strength as an off-spinner is in his variation of pace, used to deceive the batsmen, especially when they are on the attack.
“When my team is under pressure to take wickets, I back myself in those situations to come and deliver the goods,” he says.
When Mid-West Rhinos batted in their second innings in the match just completed, Mufudza, who hardly bowled in the first innings, finally got his chance and actually took all the six wickets that fell overnight himself.
“My plan was just to be accurate and to be patient,” he says. “The guys from Mid-West just couldn’t resist me and I managed to take wickets! I got a lot of spin, especially the first three wickets that I took, the left-handed batsmen. The ball was turning and I bowled them out,” he explained.
Mufudza feels most pleasure in the first wicket he took, the left-handed Prince Masvaure: “It was a very good ball, it spun a lot and he missed it. It pitched on middle stump and he played down the wrong line; it hit his off stump.”
He praises the English professional Bradley Wadlan, who scored 60: “He played me quite well, but he couldn’t resist me in the end. I bowled him out. He tried to run down the wicket and I reduced my pace, and it went through bat and pad and bowled him.”
Mufudza says, “My plans right now are to play more four-day cricket, and if I do well definitely I will go on to play for my country. That’s my first goal. I am concentrating on my variations and working on my other ball that goes with the arm, sort of like a doosra.”
He speaks confidently and is firm in his belief: “Where I am in my cricket today is because of God, the God that I serve. He has shown me that I can do it with my confidence and the ability he has given me.”
One of Zimbabwe’s leading cricket clubs, Takashinga has left Harare for Addis Ababa en route to Kampala, for a tour of Uganda
Twelve players and three officials made the trip, following an invitation by the Uganda Cricket Association.
The players are former Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya who will lead the side and also act as manager, his vice-captain Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Zimbabwe opener Sikandar Raza Butt who has been included after he approached the club to join them for the tour because he wanted playing time, Regis Chakabva, Chamunorwa Chibhabha, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Odicious Mhanje, Timycen Maruma, the Masakadza brothers Shingirai and Wellington, Kudzai Maunze and Tinashe Panyangara.
The officials are coach Emmanuel Dube, club secretary-general Givemore Makoni and president Stephen Mangongo.
The hosts are using the Takashinga tour as part of their preparations for the International Cricket Council World Cricket League Division 2 tournament, which will be in Namibia next month.
“It is important that Uganda performs well at that tournament to stand better chances of progressing to play in the World League series and the Intercontinental Cup, which will give us more cricket to be played and (more) income,” said Uganda Cricket Association chief executive officer Justine Ligyalingi, in his letter to the Takashinga Cricket Club president.