Lady Chevrons not looking too far ahead

Lady Chevrons

ZIMBABWE senior women’s national cricket team head coach, Walter Chawaguta said they will not be looking too far ahead of themselves at the 2024 Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifiers, which gets underway on Thursday in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Lady Chevrons are billed for their second warm up match of the tournament today ahead of the official games on Thursday and Chawaguta said they will be taking each game as it comes in order to get the best possible outcomes.

Zimbabwe will be up against Scotland in a second warm up match today following their six wickets triumph over the United States of America (USA) on Sunday evening.

He added that they have learnt from their past mistakes and is hopeful they will go all the way.

Lady chevrons

“We are taking each game as it comes and focus on the game, when we get that out of the way then we plan for the next one, so right now we had a decent match against USA, we’ve got Scotland next and that’s where the focus is and once that’s out of our way we will focus on our first match. I find that it’s easier to control things that are within your reach than to start getting too far ahead of yourself. “So, the past is past, we made some mistakes and hopefully our players can learn from that and once we start the tournament we will make sure we don’t drop a point, we will make sure we don’t drop a match and we will make sure we are really up for the challenge that lies ahead of us, obviously we want to be first in our group, that’s target number one and target number two is getting ourselves into that semi final and then we can see what comes after that,” said Chawaguta.

In the previous Qualifiers in 2022, the Lady Chevrons fell agonisingly short of booking a spot in the final when they lost by just four runs against Ireland. Chawaguta – who was the team’s fielding coach at that time said they are not talking about it with the players, but it’s something that is still in his mind.

“It’s something you can’t avoid, you are always going to have that at the back of your mind but I’m not talking about it with the players, it’s something I think about as a coach, but it’s not something that we are speaking about as a team and in fact we are not even talking about the semi finals or anything like that,” he said.

Zimbabwe arrived in the UAE last Monday and were in Dubai where they were scheduled to have a couple of practice sessions before making way to the host city, Abu Dhabi. However, floods in Dubai interrupted their plans, but Chawaguta said they managed to get a fielding session and everything is well on course.

“Not really (did the floods affect us), we just missed that first day and in the second day we would have wanted to have a net session, but unfortunately the conditions didn’t quite allow that, but we still had a very good fielding session, so we haven’t missed much really and we managed to get those two practice matches with quality opposition. So far, I think everything is going according to plan,” said Chawaguta.

With everything looking set, Chawaguta added that there are a few minor issues that need touch ups ahead of the commencement of the tournament. He was impressed with how his team played against USA on Sunday.

“Obviously happy with where we are as a team. We still got some issues to work on, we have been talking to players about self expression when they bat and it was good to see that it’s starting to register, not quite where we want it to be. Our bowling was good today (Sunday), the change ups were good, the spinners bowled well.

“There are still a few issues to deal with in our fielding, we are still letting too many balls through our legs and we end up missing a few run out opportunities, we are creating them, so that’s a positive but we are just not converting, we are not getting the ball where it needs to be and that’s some of the things that have very little to do with skill but the mindset, but we are generally happy where we are,” he said.

Walter Chawaguta

Against the USA, Zimbabwe, bowling first, restricted their opponents to 124/4 in 20 overs before going on to chase down the target with an over left to go. They finished on 125/4 in 19 overs.

In the match’s first innings, Lindokuhle Mabhera finished with figures of 2/22 while left arm seamer, Nomvelo Sibanda registered figures of 1/11. Anika Kolan top scored for USA with 37 runs.

In their chase, all rounder Josephine Nkomo and the in form Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano led from the front with the bat, top scoring with 38 runs apiece.

The Lady Chevrons are in Group B alongside Ireland, Netherlands, Vanuatu and the hosts, UAE. Group A is made up of Uganda, Sri Lanka, Scotland, Thailand and the USA.

The top two teams from each group will proceed to the semi-finals with the winners booking their tickets to Bangladesh, joining the likes of New Zealand, Australia, England, India, Pakistan, South Africa and the West Indies at the global show piece.

Zimbabwe will begin their campaign against Vanuatu at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday, April 25 before going on to face UAE, a day later on Saturday April 27 at Tolerance Oval. Their third game will be a test against Ireland at Zayed Cricket Stadium on Monday, April 29. They will conclude their group games against Netherlands on Wednesday, May 1 at Tolerance Oval.

Chronicle

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