Story by Raynald Ngwarati
THE Zimbabwe national cricket team has once again left the fans disappointed after the Chevrons failed to qualify for ODI World Cup for the second time in four years.
After five wins on the trot, Zimbabwe were favourites to seal a berth at the One Day International World Cup to be hosted in India later this year.
With so much expectation, the fortunes, however, changed for the host nation, as the Chevrons slumped to successive defeats in their final two matches, falling prey to Sri Lanka and minnows Scotland.
The defeat to Scotland, moved the Scots level with Zimbabwe on six points on the Super Six World Cup Qualifiers standings, thus denting Zimbabwe’s chances of qualifying for the global showpiece as Scotland have one more match to play against the Netherlands who are on four points.
Despite their dominance in the early stages of the tournament, Zimbabwe are effectively out of contention for a ticket to India as their net run rate is worse than that of the Scotts and the Dutch who have a chance to make it on six points.
Consequently, the tie between the Netherlands and Scotland will decide who gets the ticket to India, with Scotland gunning for victory, while the Dutch have to win with a huge margin to boost their net run rate and join Sri Lanka at the World Cup.
“There is no scenario where Zimbabwe qualifies now because if the Netherlands win big they’ll go above us as well. So, the battle now is between Netherlands and Scotland. Scotland’s equation is simple, they just need to beat the Netherlands and they qualify for the World Cup. On the other end, the Netherlands need to beat Scotland by a certain number of runs. If the Netherlands bat first, they will need to beat Scotland by about 25 to 40 runs depending on the target that they’ve been set. If they bat second, they need to get whatever total that Scotland have set with between 33 and 38 balls to spare,” said Cricket analyst, Godwin Mamhiyo.
For Zimbabwe it is back to the drawing board as Thursday’s clash between the Scotts and the Dutch can change their fortunes.
The general agreement though is that the World Cup Qualifier has left a sour taste after the Chevrons failed to qualify for the global showpiece for the second time in four years.