Home > News >

Elton Chigumbura, Prosper Utseya’s partnership against Australia is a great example for Zimbabwe

Elton Chigumbura played a very responsible innings  © AFP
Elton Chigumbura played a very responsible innings © AFP

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Aug 30, 2014

There were overwhelming odds stacked against Zimbabwe when Prosper Utseya joined Elton Chigumbura at 156 for seven. As they needed 54 more to win with only three wickets in hand, memories of the previous game against South Africa lingered — where Zimbabwe faltered after a good bowling performance. Utseya starred with the ball then, but the batsmen failed to convert it into a victory. This time, the off-spinner had to do it with the bat and what transpired was nothing short of a thriller.

Utseya’s application in the middle was stunning. Not known for his batting, Utseya showed great application and concentration to deal with a superior bowling side. He has four One-Day International (ODI) fifties behind him, but this was a different task. Australia are ruthless when they find an opportunity and he had to keep them out of the contest with his character. Ultimately, his persistence prevailed and gifted Zimbabwe their first ODI victory over the Australians in 31 years.

There was a need to stay in the middle and hand it over to Chigumbura. However, Utseya’s own aggression took pressure off Chigumbura and made the task a lot easier for the hosts. Clarke brought in the fielders and Utseya challenged them with some strokes over the top. That was a sign of fearlessness and confidence in the face of enormous pressure.

Having said that, Chigumbura may also have played his best innings in the ODI format. He started off by attacking the bowlers, using his feet and smashing it over the top. At the time, it seemed careless given the fact that Sean Williams had perished trying the second reverse-sweep. Yet, Chigumbura backed himself and continued to play his natural game. As wickets fell, he tempered it and re-assessed the situation. Deliveries were placed in the gaps and runs were taken quite easily.

In many ways, this partnership is a good lesson for Zimbabwe. Many times, they have shown promise, but haven’t won games when they could have. This partnership had everything in it and is a mark set for their teammates. In future, Zimbabwe can learn from this stand and try to apply the same approach in the long run.

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Centurion

India tour of Australia, 2014-15

Dec 17, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Woolloongabba, Brisbane

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 19, 2014 (16:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

West Indies in South Africa, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (14:00 IST)   at Port Elizabeth

Sri Lanka tour of New Zealand, 2014-15

Dec 26, 2014 (03:30 IST)   at Christchurch

More

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 17, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

New Zealand won by 7 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 16, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 87 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 14, 2014  at Sharjah

Pakistan won by 147 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Dec 13, 2014  at Pallekele

Sri Lanka won by 90 runs

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Dec 12, 2014  at Sharjah

New Zealand won by 4 wkts

Photos

India vs Australia, 2nd Test at Brisbane

Videos

Josh Hazlewood looks back at his 5-wicket haul

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Live Cricket Score, South Africa vs West Indies,1st Test, Day 3 at Centurion: West Indies start sedately

India vs Australia 2014-15, 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India reach 71/1 at stumps

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi Preview: Teams prepare for high-octane finale

Anil Kumble Australia India Ishant Sharma Moments in history Ravichandran Ashwin Ricky Ponting South Africa

Live Cricket Score: Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi

Live Streaming: Pakistan vs New Zealand 1st Test Day 3 at Centurion

South Africa vs West Indies 1st Test at Centurion, Day 3: West Indies openers notch up 50-run stand

Live Scorecard: Pakistan vs New Zealand 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi

India buckle down to reach 71/1 at stumps on Day 3 of 2nd Test against Australia

India vs Australia 2nd Test at Brisbane, Day 3: India’s pathetic bowling performance, Mitchell Johnson’s onslaught and other highlights

India’s inability to dismiss Australia’s tail can have huge impact

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: New Zealand likely XI

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Pakistan likely XI

Pakistan vs New Zealand, 5th ODI at Abu Dhabi: Key clashes

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

653 Posts | 10 Fans

India vs Australia: Murali Vijay's 144, Video highlights

प्रसिद्ध कथक नृत्यांगना सितारा देवी नहीं रही

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Bigg Boss 8: Ali Quli Mirza, Renee Dhyani, Upen Patel, Praneet Bhatt, Sonali Raut – who should be evicted this week?

Revealed: The reason why Kishore Kumar’s biopic starring Ranbir Kapoor won’t feature Katrina Kaif!

अभिनेत्री प्रियंका चोपड़ा ने स्वच्छ भारत अभियान में हिस्सा लिया

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here