THE Zimbabwe cricket team is sweating over the availability of star bowler Tendai Chatara and top order batsman Tino Mawoyo for the first Test against New Zealand after both players suffered knocks in the ongoing three-day warm up match at Harare Sports Club. BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE -THE STANDARD
Chatara aggravated his ankle injury while Mawoyo was forced to retire after just facing four deliveries into Zimbabwe’s innings yesterday.
Mawoyo was hit on the finger by the visitors’ fast bowler Tim Southee and it emerged that it was not a serious injury, but he had to be withdrawn as a precautionary measure as the technical team focuses on the first Test match which begins on Thursday in Bulawayo.
A specialist Test batsman, Mawoyo is looking to make a welcome return into national team colours having last featured for Zimbabwe in a One Day International match back in 2014.
Mawoyo’s retirement proved ominous as a poor batting performance by the Zimbabwe A followed as the team was bowled out for a paltry 114 runs.
Senior batsman Sean Williams was the only Zimbabwe batsman to offer some resistance to the Kiwis’ experienced bowling fire power scoring a well-worked 53 while Sikandar Raza Butt had the second best score of 29.
Other senior team members such as Vusi Sibanda and Regis Chakabva, given a chance to have some minutes on the crease, failed to make the most of it, scoring a duck and 9 runs respectively.
The only other batter to reach double figures was youngster Joylord Gumbie as Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult and Doug Bracewell ripped the hosts’ batting order apart.
The Kiwis who scored 345/7 declared in their first innings, were 154/4 at stumps yesterday, leading by 385runs and are favourites to win the three-day warm up match going into the final day today.