... a lot. An ungrumpy Graeme Cremer is a rare sight and a clear indicator that Zimbabwe must have improved of sorts. He bowled some great stuff, at the world's best economy rate, took the key wicket, batted so well in the given circumstances and delivered Zimbabwe's top-score. All Cremer boxes ticked, and some more. He's easily Zimbabwe's MOTM, and that's enough for me to find this a watchworthy match, especially as his performance came against a good-looking Australian side. He'll hopefully take some confidence from his today's performance and deliver some more candy in the coming weeks.
Australia v Zimbabwe
Let's be honest, one could not really expect a Zimwin, but Zimbabwe battled hard and will seek to improve their net run rate against Canada next week. Prosper Utseya played a match similar to that of Graeme Cremer, bowled well and partnered up with Cremy for Zim's best collaboration. Heart-rending efforts by the two hangarounders, since the top order failed completely, and Elton was probably due a shit day after his recent mammoth totals. Charles Coventry looked like a fearful little deer against the Australian quicks; Taylor, Ervine and Taibu were clueless as well. Sean Williams provided the first eyebrow jiggle, which honestly surprised me, but not much else happened until Cremer and Utseya put some runs on the board.
Bowling-wise apart from AGC and Prosper one could perhaps still mention Ray Price; on the pace front I am not sure if there's a huge difference between Shingi and Chris Mpofu, both cost a lot and take wickets, and since Mpofu had the time of his life in the field today Zim will most likely stick to him, but I'd also be happy to see Masakadza in some of the coming matches.
One could also interpret the result as Australia batting carefully because they knew they could defend a medium-sized total. MOTM Watto and Michael Clarke provided the runs and I have to say while we all have got used to Watto being The Man Clarke's resurrection is still young and tender and needs to be nurtured carefully. Seeing him feel comfortable against the Zimbabwean spin gives courage, and he's gonna need a lot more of that in the coming matches.
The three-pronged pace attack of Tait, Lee and Johnson may have benefited from the Zimbabwean batting weakness but I think Lee is phenomenal to watch, Mitch with his 4-19 proved that today he was carrying a clear head on his neck, Dussey is Mister Useful, and Krejza returned the first results, especially as the batsmen, largely hopeless against the pace, were forced to go after him. So let's forget about the shitty warm-ups and look forward to the next matches!
Tatenda Taibu should attempt at an umpiring career, he's got a great pair of eyes in his head, got both reviews right and reaped Zim two wickets.
Shane Watson's new hairdo and -dye violates the Geneva Conventions. Sauerkraut nibbled into shape by a hungry rat. Godogodogod. Please, bring back the blond Watto.
Ray Price's smile looks like a pancake that got stuck to the ceiling and fell down five minutes later.
That's all from me for today