Continuing our tournament reviews, here is an assessment of how Zimbabwe did.
With their array of spinners, Zimbabwe had realistic hopes of achieving an upset, probably against New Zealand. In the event their batting folded against the Kiwis, who raced to a 10-wicket win. It was much the same throughout, with Brendan Taylor’s clean-hitting 80 against Sri Lanka the exception. The bowling was a little better, albeit over-reliant on Ray Price. That Ireland did markedly better in a tougher group told its own story.
Ray Price is renowned for his on-field theatrics, but he is also a left-arm spinner of great guile. Adept opening the bowling or operating in the middle overs, he claimed nine wickets whilst going for only 3.44 an over.
Skipper Elton Chigumbura has a reputation as a big hitter, but he averaged less than 20, while his bowling went for over seven an over. The stats suggest the captaincy has reduced his effectiveness.
Their return to Test cricket this year could be painful if their World Cup performances are a good guide. With batting prone to collapsing and an abject shortage of quick bowling they need to entice players like Sean Ervine, who has chosen Hampshire over his country, back to protect their competitiveness.