About the Match
One carnival finishes and its the beginning of another carnival. Yes, you got it right. The conclusion of Asia cup with India lifting the trophy means the World T20 is just a day away. The major ICC event takes place in India with sixteen teams participating. The tournament kicks off on 8th March with Hong Kong taking on Zimbabwe at Vidharbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur at 3:00 PM IST. Its expected to be bright and sunny at Nagpur with a few clouds in between. The Nagpur pitch has always been known to be a batsmen friendly place and it won't be surprising if we see high totals being scored.
Zimbabwe used to be a good side when the ICC World T20 event started in 2007. They saw a huge dip in their graph and it looks it is beginning to rise again. They had a good World Cup '15 campaign albeit without too many victories. With the strong domestic structure as compared to the associate nations, they have good cricketers experienced at playing this level. They have players who participated in Pakistan Super League and Big Bash League which allowed them to have good exposure to competition in shortest format of the game.
Since the retirement of Brendan Taylor from international cricket, there seemed to be a void created in their batting order which now doesn't seem too large to fill owing to some brilliant performances by Hamilton Mazdakadza. The trio of Malcolm Waller, Craig Ervine and Sean Ervine has ably helped the team succeed in the recent past.
They seem to have good bowling lineup with Utseya and Chris Mpofu. Zimbabwe is a balanced side with options with both bat and ball and provided the team plays as per its potential, they can be a tough team to defeat for anyone.
A new team to the international scene and the world hasn't seem much about them. However, they are a good team which has already caused some big upsets at the World stage. They defeated Nepal and Ireland during the qualifiers. They've also shocked Bangladesh in 2014. As evident from those upsets, they have the talent it takes to punch above their weight. However, they are extremely unpredictable team which can collapse under pressure which happened to them as they lost to underdogs Jersey and USA in qualifiers.
Mark Chapman is a 21-year young batsmen who caught everyone's eye as he scored a century in a first class game in New Zealand. They've been on World stage only once before so it might be a little nervous for them. The knack of upsetting teams makes them a very dangerous team and Zimbabwe should not take this talented side lightly.
On paper, it looks like a David versus Goliath, but considering the nature of the game and the format, anything can happen. Zimbabwe is a side with plenty of experience behind their back. On the other hand, people have not seen much of Hong Kong which can very well go in their favor, especially in the format known for such stuff. We'd place our money on more balanced and experienced side, that is, Zimbabwe and expect them to emerge victorious easily.