By Skilder Makona
Zimbabweans are in a celebratory mood after the Chevrons’ remarkable victory in their first Test against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi.
With the odds against Zimbabwe going into the series against Afghanistan, the Chevrons are walking with a spring in their step thanks to the exploits of team ably led from the front by captain Sean Williams.
Given the absence of several senior players including Kyle Jarvis, Chamu Chibhabha, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine and Peter j Moor, the youthful Chevrons came to party and demolished the Afghans in clinical fashion with an impressive a 10-wicket victory.
With Zimbabwe not really known as a test powerhouse, the Chevrons’ win at Zayed Cricket Stadium was refreshing, more so after being achieved just under 2 days.
This is only the 23rd time that a Test match has ended within 48 hours since England and Australia played the first Test, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in March 1877.
With Zimbabwe having taken a voluntary break from test cricket in 2005 and only returning to the fold in 2011, yesterday’s victory built on the exploits of a relatively young team brings hope for a better future, despite being the team’s 13th win, in 111 Tests.
While the leader of the troupe, Williams and all-rounder, Sikandar Raza Butt provided the much-needed experience for the new look Chevrons side, fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani, Tarisai Musakanda, Donald Tiripano and Victor Nyauchi provided the remedy to Coach Lalchand Rajput’s headache of missing senior players.
Micro-blogging site, Twitter, has been awash with congratulatory messages for Zimbabwe’s victory with the International Cricket Council- ICC saying it was an excellent session for the Chevrons, while Cricinfo Sub-editor, Danyal Rasool acknowledged Zimbabwe now have more Test wins in the UAE than England in fewer Tests.
Seasoned cricket commentator, Mpumelelo Mbangwa and former Ireland cricketer, Anthony Ireland joined the bandwagon in praising the Chevrons’ exploits.
Bolstered by Williams’ masterclass performance and the unexpected exploits of three simmers Muzarabani, Nyauchi and Tiripano, the Chevrons now shift focus to the second Test which begins on the 10th at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi.