Madhevere bounces back
By Lawrence Trusida, Sports Editor
RISING cricket star Wessly Madhevere made the most of an unexpected opportunity after scoring a career-best of 72 during Zimbabwe’s first One Day International (ODI) against Australia in Townsville this Sunday.
The 21-year-old right-handed batsman was set to miss the opening match at the Riverway Stadium after a difficult run of form with the bat during the recent ODI series against Bangladesh and India.
Madhevere had been informed that he would not feature in the match, before a last-minute elbow injury to veteran all-rounder Sean Williams saw him being included in the playing eleven just before the match.
“I was told yesterday that I wasn’t going to play, but found out this morning that Sean [Williams] wasn’t doing too well with an elbow (injury), that’s when the coach told me l was going to play.
“I normally get nervous the day before when I know I’m playing, but today I was kind of relaxed,” he said.
The Chitungwiza-born player took full advantage of the lifeline as he reached his fifty off 67 balls on his way to a gusty 72 off 91 balls against a star-studded Australia bowling attack that included the likes of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Adam Zampa.
Madhevere’s knock helped Zimbabwe reach 200 runs after being sent in to bat first but ultimately his career-best knock was in vain as Zimbabwe went down to Australia by five wickets.
The top-order batsman and offspinner, who played most of his school cricket in South Africa where he captained St Charles College of Pietermaritzburg was unfazed as he faced Australia’s pace bowlers something he knows too well about.
“I think (the pitch) was a little bit two-paced, there was a bit of grass on the wicket. But to be honest, I enjoyed it. Pretty much similar conditions to the South African type of wickets. I was exposed to those types of conditions when I was at school. It was nice to bat on,” he said.
Madhevere will be hoping to continue with his good form as the three-match series continues in Townsville this Wednesday.