Congratulations to Zimbabwean cricket

By Andrew Hardingham (columnist) 19 Apr 2013 09:32:05

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Congratulations to Brendan Taylor for his 171 in the test match v Bangladesh, a Zimbabwean's captains highest test score. Zimbabwe have gone through some dark and bleak days since their debut 21 years ago.

They made their debut in 1992-93 v India and had some good players in the side like David Houghton their first captain and the current England coach Andy Flower. They earned a draw in that first test and it was not until their third test v New Zealand they tasted defeat.

A young fast bowler called Heath Streak appeared a year later and became a respected world class performer. David Houghton hit Zimbabwe's highest test score of 266 v Sri Lanka in the mid 90s as his team proved hard to beat. In the same season they defeated Pakistan for their first test win a proud moment in their history. Young colored cricketers emerged like Pommie Mbangwa,Henry Olonga and Everton Matambanadzo. They gave England a scare on David Lloyd's famous " we flippin murdered em " tour. The team was at their peak with Grant Flower, Guy Whittal, Paul Strang and Alistair Campbell integral parts of the team.

With Murray Goodwin and Neil Johnson Joining the ranks this team was capable of beating anybody which they did defeating Pakistan 1-0 away and beating India at home.

They had a good 1999 World cup but then things began to fall apart. They suffered heavy defeats to Australia, South Africa and stuggled in England.

2003 saw the black arm band protest during their World cup campaign by Andy Flower and Henry Olonga. Politics was interfering in their cricket and the side broke up.

After 2 humiliating innings defeats to Sri Lanka they pulled out of cricket test wise for a year but returned to suffer 4 more thrashings. They pulled out of test matches for 5 years to sort themselves out. On their return they defeated Bangladesh and gave New Zealand and Pakistan a run for their money on home soil.They struggled away from home in New Zealand and the Carribean but lets hope they can become a young vibrant strong team and they have 2 of the most beautiful test grounds in Harare and Bulawayo

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