Zimbabwe 2007
The year 2014 hasn’t brought too much good-luck for Zimbabwe © Getty Images

Not much has changed for Zimbabwe in 2014. Their board  continued to plunge in further debt and the team  lost to unknown minnows as well as powerhouses of world cricket. Amid all this, the team has shown potential but have failed to capitalise except on the rare occasion. Rishad DSouza sums up Zimbabwe’s 2014.

The year 2014 hasn’t brought too much good-luck for the African team. Apart from the routine losses to the power houses of cricket, Zimbabwe seem to be getting into a habit of losing to minnows on a consistent basis. The international cricketing year began for them only in July when Afghanistan toured the country for a four match ODI series. Zimbabwe started off well beating Afghanistan in the first two matches, things seemed to be slowly falling back into place for the once-formidable cricketing nation. Afghanistan then went on to win the third match in a thrilling battle with just two balls to spare.

This however was adequate to completely derail Zimbabwe as they went on to lose the fourth match of the series by a 100 runs. This set the tone for the remainder of 2014 for Zimbabwe. Their next assignment was a huge one, one-off Test against their neighbours South Africa – arguably the best Test side in the world. No surprises here, South Africa won quite convincingly. Individual Zimbabwean players put up decent performances but as a team they just couldn’t pull it together. No changes in the story for the three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) that followed in the series, Zimbabwe lost them all.

The two African neighbours were then joined by Australia for a tri-series. This is the series where Zimbabwe gave the world a taste of what they could do if they pushed a little harder and performed as a team. In one of their matches against South Africa, Prosper Utseya pulled off something that the rest of the world could not even dream of – a hat-trick against the South Africa where he claimed wickets of Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw and David Miller. His heroics however proved inadequate as South Africa won by 61 runs in the end. Nevertheless, Zimbabwe took confidence from that performance and in the next match against Australia they won by three wickets.

Their next series was an away series against Bangladesh, who too weren’t enjoying a great year either. The stage was set for a low-profile albeit even battle between the two bottom-ranked Test teams, but the contest was far from even, Zimbabwe lost every single match in the series which consisted three Tests and five ODIs.

By all counts Zimbabwe’s 2014 was a disaster. Not much went their way in the domestic cricket scene either as a player strike over pay-disputes threatened to derail the domestic tournament. Zimbabwe will want to close the 2014 yearbook soon and look forward to a better 2015.

(Rishad D’Souza, a reporter with CricketCountry, gave up hopes of playing Test cricket after a poor gully-cricket career. He now reports on the sport. You can follow @RishadDsouza on Twitter)