World Twenty20 team preview: Zimbabwe

Reports & previews

The fact that Zimbabwe have actually made it to Bangladesh is impressive, given their constant off field drama and salary disputes, strikes and allegations of financial mismanagement by the board.

<b>Captain:</b> Brendan Taylor<br><b>Coach:</b> Andy Waller<br><b>WT20 Best:</b> Group B exit, 2009 and 2010; Group C exit, 2012

<b>Overview</b><br>The fact that Zimbabwe have actually made it to Bangladesh is impressive, given their constant off field drama and salary disputes, strikes and allegations of financial mismanagement by the board.

But the players seem ready to play their hearts out, despite losing five out of six T20s in 2013, and not playing any official fixtures this year. They lost their warm up against Hong Kong in a last ball thriller, but beat Afghanistan two days later.

They're an unpredictable side, but with a good skipper and a solid group of seniors, so you never know. They could beat Ireland on the day, and go on to reach the group stage, or they could lose all three qualifying games.

<b>Key Batsman</b><br>Veteran Hamilton Masakadza has a habit of scoring half centuries when his side is in trouble, and is their top run-scorer in the format. He's a classy batsman, and along with Brendan Taylor forms the backbone of the line-up.

<b>Key Bowler</b><br>Spinner Prosper Utseya will be vital on the tracks in question, and is conveniently also the country's most successful T20 bowler. He took three wickets in the warm up against Hong Kong, so seems happy enough with the conditions.

<b>Likely Benchwarmer</b><br>Fast bowler Shingi Masakadza is a good bowler in the longer format, but his T20 record is not great, with only four wickets in seven games, and he hasn't featured in the warm-ups. And given the spin friendly decks, he'll be one paceman too many.

<b>Cricket365's Prediction</b><br>Gosh, who knows! We imagine it'll be Ireland progressing out of this lot, unless something major happens, but if anyone can challenge that assumption it will be the Zimbos.

<b>They Said:</b> "We have to qualify. We are not taking any team lightly. As Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson said, the gap between associates and affiliates is reducing and it's good to see world cricket developing. It can be anyone's game on the day." – captain <b>Brendan Taylor</b>.

<b>Squad:</b> Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Timycen Maruma, Hamilton Masakadza, Shingi Masakadza, Natsai M'shangwe, Tinashe Panyangara, Vusi Sibanda, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Brian Vitori, Malcolm Waller, Sean Williams.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>17 March: v Ireland, Sylhet<br>19 March: v Netherlands, Sylhet<br>21 March: v United Arab Emirates, Sylhet

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