Tests N/A, ODI 10th, T20 12th
New Zealand (A) – T20 Lost 2-0 (2), ODI Lost 3-0 (3), Test Lost 1-0 (1)
New Zealand (H) – Test Lost 1-0 (1), ODI Lost 2-1 (3), T20 Lost 2-0 (2)
They may be rubbish, but at least they’re playing. Those results against New Zealand alone show the gulf in class, with Zimbabwe probably even worse than Bangaldesh at present. This is of course partly as a result of the preceeding years in the cricketing wilderness, but the inexperience of the players is telling.
Nevertheless, the solitary victory was a classic. New Zealand posted 328/5 with centuries from Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson. In response, Zimbabwe were 0-1 from two balls, and five wickets down after 30 overs. But Malcolm Waller smashed 99 from 74 balls to take Zimbabwe over the line with only one ball and no wickets to spare. Brendan Taylor scored 75* in this match and he was the standout player across the winter. In four Test innings he scored a relatively impressive 178 runs, but it was in ODIs that he truly excelled- consecutive scores of 128*, 107*, 75, 58, 4 and 65.
Zimbabwe are scheduled to play South Africa at home in June in a series of five (five!) T20 matches. Beyond that is the World T20 where they are grouped with South Africa and Sri Lanka. A victory against either would be miraculous, and in the longer-term the best hope will be for more cricket against comparable teams and perhaps occasional matches against the best. It may be a shallow learning curve, but at least under the leadership of Taylor, they ought to improve as they gain experience.