2018 for Zimbabwe cricket will be remembered for the events on 22nd of March as the Chevrons bottled an opportunity to qualify for the 2019 World cup when they lost by 3 runs to minnows UAE in front of a packed HSC. The repercussions of that result were not so pretty amid the sackings, strike and the departure of Rising Star Blessing Muzarabani on a Kolpak contract.
But like so many years before Zimbabwe always find a way to give hope to its loyal fans as they shocked the world by defeating Bangladesh in alien territory where the likes of the great Three Lions and the Baggie Greens have faltered. It was Zimbabwe’s first away Test win in 17 years and the emergence of another rising star in Brandon Mavuta.
Another star on the rise is Tarisai Musakanda of Midwest Rhinos who has been making waves opening the innings for his respective franchise. He is not relatively new as he already made his Chevrons debut but it is this season where he is trying to reinvent himself as an opener. Zimbabwe has struggled at the top for a while now since they decided to drop Taylor in at 4 to stabilise the middle order. Many have been tried including the likes of Chibhabha, Vusi Sibanda and Pj Moor without much successs. Australia-based Solomon Mire brought a false dawn after impressing in the ODI series win against Sri Lanka with his aggressive style of play but his form was never the same since.
Tarisai Musakanda has been one of the the best batsman so far, in this stop-start domestic season scoring 334 runs in 6 innings at an average of 55.7. He notched his maiden century in all forms cricket in the first round of the Logan Cup against defending champions the Mountaineers. Musakanda has all the tools to become a terrific opener and even take the reins from Taylor as Zimbabwe’s batting talisman. He has all the shots in his locker and rotates strike very well. Moreover, he is a clean striker of the ball as he clears the boundary with relative ease.
The only major flaw in his game is his concentration, which is a very important example in batting as one lapse may change the game completely. He surely needs to work on that moreover the board should work on providing matches for the national team to groom these young lads to handle pressure at the highest level.
As this year’s Winter is looming large on Westeros, the Chevrons will be hoping that they have finally unearthed their own Azor Ahai and brings the light and end the long night of our opening woes.