Zimbabwe vs. Afghanistan 2014: Winners and Losers from 4-Match ODI Series
After a close four-match one-day international series, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan finished deadlocked at 2-2.
The hosts pulled out to a 2-0 lead but were dragged back by the Afghans, who continue to look impressive in international cricket.
Next for the tourists come two four-day fixtures against Zimbabwe A, but before those kick off at the weekend, let’s first take a look back.
Some can call themselves winners, while others can call themselves losers after these four games.
Read on to find out whom.
For Afghanistan to come back from 2-0 down to tie the series shows the character of the side.
They have the ability to succeed in international cricket.
Despite the turmoil at home, they have looked very impressive on the field and continue to cause problems for more experienced international teams.
They will be desperate to keep testing themselves against more elite teams between now and next year’s Cricket World Cup, having drawn their first ODI series against a Full ICC Member.
Loser: Vusi Sibanda
The most high-profile casualty from Zimbabwe’s squad was batsman Vusi Sibanda, who was very publicly dropped after what Zimbabwe Cricket described as “indifferent performances,” according to ESPN Cricinfo.
One of the country’s more experienced players, Sibanda will want to turn things around quickly.
If he doesn't, he could find his international career is over.
There always seems to be turmoil in Zimbabwean cricket—and right now is no different.
Peter Chingoka has resigned as the chairman of their cricket board, per ESPN Cricinfo.
Problems with player salaries and other controversies contributed to Chingoka’s downfall, and Zimbabwe Cricket will once again now face a period of transition.
That they were able to get a side on the field and competing as part of a relatively lengthy tour is something worth celebrating, especially with South Africa touring next month too.
Loser: Elton Chigumbura
Not that many years ago, Zimbabwe all-rounder Elton Chigumbura was regarded as one of the premier cricketers in the country and on the continent.
He bowled with pace and was a hard-hitting batsman who could worry any attack.
Unfortunately, his performances now appear to have dropped off somewhat. Especially his bowling.
He was only required to turn his arm over on one occasion. Meanwhile, with the bat, he failed to make any telling contributions.
Winner: Sikandar Raza
Zimbabwe opener Sikandar Raza may be very inexperienced in international cricket, but he showed during this series he has the potential to succeed.
His 141 in Bulawayo was a brilliant innings that sparked victory and showcased his talents.
Loser: Brendan Taylor
Zimbabwe’s captain will be deeply disappointed his side could not hold on to take a series victory against Afghanistan.
With everything that has happened off the field, Taylor would have viewed a series win as a morale-booster, especially with South Africa’s tour next month.
Unfortunately, they could not maintain their advantage.