Despite Zimbabweâ€™s comprehensive 175-run win over Canada in their second match at the Cricket World Cup in Asia, the match exposed the shortcomings at the top of the batting order that continue to haunt the team and need to be rectified as a matter of urgency, ahead of the forthcoming matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.The opening partnership was a big let down once again as Brendon Taylor and Charles Coventry flattered to deceive for the second match in succession.
After managing an opening stand of 21 in the match against defending champions Australia, Taylor and Coventry were expected to redeem themselves against Canada, on account of the lowly status of the North Americans on the global stage.
Proceedings however went contrary to expectations as the opening pair failed to put any meaningful runs on the board after Taylor perished off the first delivery of the innings.
Taylor became the 7th batsman to be dismissed on the first ball in a world cup game with three of the seven dismissals coming against Zimbabwe.Â
Taylorâ€™s opening partner, Coventry, departed after contributing a paltry 4 runs to Zimbabweâ€™s cause.
The batting woes at the top of the order which have been the teamâ€™s undoing for long continue to hinder the Zimbabwe team in its quest for global supremacy.
A comparative analysis with the other big boys of world cricket in Zimbabweâ€™s group after two matches show that Australiaâ€™s opening partnership averages 97 runs, Sri Lanka 69, while New Zealand averages 46 runs.
The Pakistani opening partnership is averaging 28 runs.
An urgent solution to Zimbabweâ€™s batting frailties at the top of the order is therefore crucial ahead of the next two matches against New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Meanwhile, some interesting statistics came out of Zimbabweâ€™s win over Canada on Monday. Zimbabweâ€™s 298 is their fourth highest total in a world cup game, while the 175 run win is their biggest winning margin at the global cricket showpiece.
The 181 run partnership between Tatenda Taibu and Craig Ervine is now the highest partnership for Zimbabwe in a world cup match, surpassing the 166 run stand between Grant Flower and Craig Wishart against Namibia in 2003.
Taibuâ€™s well crafted 98 was his third highest in ODIâ€™s and his 17th fifty. However it was the first instance that a Zimbabwe batsman has been dismissed in the nineties in a world cup game.
Zimbabweâ€™s next match at the world cup is against New Zealand on Monday.