Staying in it and winning it, Ratings 24th April
|Expected Margin||Zimbabwe by 16 runs|
|Actual Margin||Zimbabwe by 335 runs|
In many sports, as you mature as a player, you realise that the way to win is not to beat them, but to let them beat themselves. And vice versa. Zimbabwe beat Bangladesh two years ago by grinding them down - they played a competitive match against Pakistan doing the same. Led by Brendan Taylor's 171 (324) and 102* (146) they worked up a competitive but not great score. They lacked that bowling on the second day, conceding 1/95 off 25 overs. But Jarvis 4/40 and Masakadza 4/32 destroyed Bangladesh on the third morning, taking a scarcely credible 9/32. From there, notwithstanding concerns about Bangladesh's recent batting efforts, a win was inevitable. Bangladesh again failed to produce even a half-way respectable total. They are better than that, even in unfamiliar conditions, and need to find a workable approach in the few days available to them. For Zimbabwe, a welcome win after successive slips in their ranking, and a very comprehensive one that wil give them a lot of confidence.
|Expected Margin||Namibia by 109 runs|
|Actual Margin||Namibia by 82 runs|
A evenly poised match throughout, only, finally, going the way of the home side when Tom Cooper was dismissed just after tea on the final day. The Netherlands went into the match needing to win and got a nearly perfect start; ven der Gugten (7/68) taking out the top order. Namibia swung the game back their way via van Schoor (110) and Burger (71) but lost late wickets and made only 276. Netherlands, by contrast, started very well, reaching 1/157 (Cooper 83) before a slow-motion collapse left them 14 runs short with only one wicket in hand. The final pair put together 31 to take first innings points, but Namibia kept coming. The depth in their batting - they carry seven or more all-rounders into many games - meant that even though Baard top-scored with only 85, they still worked their way to 336, a defendable total, with a day to play. Cooper (109) was again the best player, but he had little support and Scholtz 5/58 became the decisive and final contribution in the match. The win means Namibia are well placed to make the final, with a game against Afghanistan providing the perfect opportunity to move into second. Netherlands can, in theory, still make the final, but would require everything to fall their way. With direct world cup qualification a real possibility their focus will rightly be on those four matches.
|Rankings at 24th April 2013|
Shaded teams have played fewer than 2 games per season. Non-test team ratings are not comparable to test ratings as they don't play each other.
24th April, 2013 02:22:49