Zimbabwe have beaten the West Indies. As the result loomed, we were asked whether we were going to paint it as a Zimbabwean improvement or ‘the usual’. ‘The usual’ is of course when we say that if you so much as lose a wicket against Zimbabwe, you’re the worst cricketers to represent your nation.
Well, we’ve had a little look back over Zimbabwe’s recent record and we’re going to revise our stance ever-so-slightly. Zimbabwe are still more embarrassing than that home video of you trying to look cool at a classmate’s tenth birthday party, but they have improved. Slightly.
They beat Australia in the Twenty20 World Cup and you can’t really fluke a victory against Australia in any form of the game, no matter what Twenty20-haters might say. Also, in a recent series against South Africa, they consistently passed 200, even though they lost every match.
Passing 200 doesn’t sound like much of an achievement, but you forget who we’re talking about. This is Zimbabwe, the team that conceded 418-5 in a one-day match against South Africa; the team that against today’s opponents this time last year, were bowled out for 85; this is the team that were dismissed for 69 of the most redundant runs in cricket history against the towering might of Kenya.
As for the West Indies, it’ll come as no surprise to hear that the bowlers sprayed it every which way and that Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit an unbeaten hundred in defeat. People said that the Windies lost a lot when Lara retired, but what the hell are they going to do when Shiv goes? Shivnarine Chanderpaul is The Balls.
Good links in this post. Saying Zimbabwe are toss brings out the best in us.