Pint-sized Tatenda Taibu smashed 98 as Zimbabwe kept their World Cup quarter-final hopes alive on Monday, paying tribute to lessons learned from Ricky Ponting and Sourav Ganguly.

Taibu played with the Australian and Indian in his time with Indian Premier League side, Kolkata Knight Riders, and he believes his short spell alongside them made him a better player.

“Sharing the dressing room with great players such as Ricky Ponting, Sourav Ganguly was a great experience. I learnt a lot about the game from them,” said Taibu after Monday’s 175-run win over Canada.

“It helped me improve as a player.”

The win over Canada gave Zimbabwe, who made 298 on Monday, their first victory after a 91-run loss to defending champions Australia.

The 27-year-old Taibu, a former national skipper, said the advent of Twenty20 cricket had helped more teams pile up big scores.

So far at the World Cup, the 300-run barrier has been breached six times with India and England both making 338 in Sunday’s nail-biting tie in Bangalore on Sunday.

“T20 has helped in piling up big scores. Also, with the introduction of the batting powerplay and innovative shots, you get bigger scores,” he said.

Zimbabwe captain, Elton Chigumbura, said that Monday’s 175-run win would provide much-needed impetus with four group league matches still to play.

“Obviously, I am happy with the performance of the boys. We got a big partnership (181 between Taibu and Craig Ervine) going.

“We would still like to take it one game at a time and not think about a quarter-final berth straight away.”

Zimbabwe are in Group A at the World Cup with Australia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and New Zealand tipped to fill the four quarter-final qualifying berths.


Match Statistics:

Statistical highlights of a Group B match in the cricket World Cup between Canada and Canada and Zimbabwe on Monday.

# Canada (123) have posted their fifth lowest total in the world cup – their top four lowest scores being 36 against Sri Lanka in 2003, 45 against England in 1979, 105 against Australia in 1979 and 122 against Sri Lanka in 2011.

# Canada’s loss by 175 runs is their second lowest in the world cup, next only to the 210-run loss to Sri Lanka at Hambantota on February 20, 2011.

# John Davison is the third player after Shem Ngoche and Nehemiah Odhiamo – both from Kenya to record two consecutive ducks in the present edition of the world cup – one each against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe.

# Davison’s third duck in the world cup is his fifth in ODIs.

# Ashish Bagai’s second duck in ODIs is his first duck at the world cup.

# Ray Price (3/16) has recorded his best bowling figures at the world cup.  He is the fourth bowler from Zimbabwe to bowl four maiden overs in an innings in the world cup, joining Peter Rawson, Eddo Brandes and John Traicos

# Prosper Utseya (2/24) has recorded his best world cup performance, surpassing the 1 for 43 against Australia at Ahmedabad on February 21, 2011.

# Utseya was wicketless in the 2007 edition of the world cup.

# Zubin Surkari (26) has posted his highest world cup score.

# Zimbabwe have won both their matches against Canada in the world cup. With their ninth win, Zimbabwe’s winning is 21.59 – Lost 34, Tied 1 & NR 3) out of 47 played.

# Canada have lost 13 games out of 14 played in the world cup – winning % 7.14.

# Zimbabwe’s 175-run win is their largest victory margin by runs in the world cup, beating the 99 against Netherlands at Bulawayo on February 28, 2003.

# Zimbabwe’s 298 for nine is their fourth highest in the world cup – their top three totals are 340 for two against Namibia at Harare on February 10, 2003,  312 for four against Sri Lanka at New Plymouth on February 23, 1992 and 301 for eight against Netherlands at Bulawayo on February 28, 2003.

# Tatenda Taibu (98 off 99 balls) has posted his highest innings in the world cup, eclipsing the 53 against New Zealand at Bloemfontein on March 8, 2003.

# Taibu has aggregated 222 runs at an average of 37.00 in ten world cup games, including two fifties, at a strike rate of 70.25.

# Taibu (2917 at an average of 29.46 in 132 matches) needs 83 runs to complete his 3000 runs in ODIs.  His tally includes two hundreds and 17 fifties apart from 15 ducks.

# Taibu’s 98 is his third highest innings in ODIs, next only to the 107 not out against South Africa at Harare on August 26, 2007 and 103 not out off 112 balls against South Africa at Benoni on November 8, 2009.

# Taibu’s 98 is also the third best innings by a Zimbabwean wicketkeeper in the world cup, next only to Dave Houghton (142 against New Zealand at Hyderabad on October 10, 1987) and Andy Flower (115 not out against Sri Lanka at New Plymouth on February 23, 1992).

# Balaji Rao (4/57) has produced his career-best bowling performance in ODIs, eclipsing the 2 for 50 against West Indies at King city on August 24, 2008.

# Balaji’s figures are the second best by a Canadian bowler in the world cup, next only to the 5 for 27 by Austin Codrington’s on ODI debut against Bangladesh at Durban on February 11, 2003.

# Apart from Codrington and Balaji, no other bowler has bagged four wickets for Canada in the world cup.

# Ashish Bagai has effected three dismissals in an innings three times in the world cup – one each against Bangladesh, South Africa and Zimbabwe.

# Craig Irvine (85 off 81 balls) has registered his career-best innings in the world cup/ODIs, eclipsing the 67 not out against India at Bulawayo on May 28, 2010.

# The above innings are Craig Irvine’s only fifties at the world cup.

# Ervine and Taibu put on 181 for the third wicket – Zimbabwe’s highest for this wicket-position in the world cup, eclipsing the 166 (unbroken) between Grant Flower and Craig Wishart against Namibia at Harare on February 10, 2003.

# The above partnership, in fact, is the highest for Zimbabwe for any wicket in the world cup.  The 181-run stand is also the highest for the third wicket for Zimbabwe in ODIs

# Khurram Chohan (2/44) has produced his best world cup performance.

# Khurram has bagged four wickets in an innings three times in ODIs with a best of 4 for 26 against Kenya at King City (NW) on August 19, 2009.

# Graeme Cremer (26 off 23 balls) has posted his second highest score in the world cup, next only to the 37 against Australia at Ahmedabad on February 21, 2011.

# Brendan Taylor has registered his first duck in the world cup – his seventh in ODIs.

# Taylor is the third batsman to be dismissed off the first ball of a match in the world cup – the first two being New Zealand’s John Wright against Australia at Auckland on February 22, 1992 and Bangladesh’s Hannan Sarkar against Sri Lanka at Pietermaritzburg on February 14, 2003.