By Eddie Chikamhi
In a year that many of the Zimbabwe cricket players would want to forget quickly, statistics in One Day Internationals show that pace bowler Tendai Chatara was easily the stand-out performer for the Chevrons.
Chatara finished the year with 30 wickets from the 21 ODIs he played, which places him as the number five bowler with the most wickets for the year 2018.
Afghanistan’s sensational 20-year-old legspinner Rashid Khan sits on top of the pile with 48 wickets from 20 matches while Kuldeep Yadav of India is second after claiming 45 ODI scalps.
England’s Adil Usman Rashid (42 wickets) and another Afghan player Mujeeb Ur Rahman (37) are in third and fourth places.
“I think this was quite a good year for me because I was fit for most of the year. Unlike the previous seasons, I had no injuries to disrupt my progress and I should also mention that I got some game time,” said Chatara.
His impressive figures of 4-33, which helped Zimbabwe to a 12-run win over Sri Lanka during the ODI Tri-Series in Bangladesh, ranks among the many highlights of his career during the year.
Chatara believes the busy schedule this year kept him on his feet and helped boost his stats. Zimbabwe played a number of games beginning with the Triangular Series which also involved Sri Lanka.
They then went on to play Afghanistan in Sharjah before coming back home for the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2019 which brought together 10 hopefuls, with only two teams getting the tickets to the global cricket show-piece to be hosted by England next year.
The Chevrons also had ODI duels against Pakistan, South Africa and Bangladesh.
“As a team, we played many games in 2018 than we probably did in previous years. The results aside, I think that helped some of us to build the momentum.
“From that Triangular series in Bangladesh at the beginning of the year through to the World Cup Qualifier and then the tours that followed, it has been a lot of cricket by our standards.
“We really wanted to go to the World Cup but, most unfortunately, it failed. We also hope to get the opportunity to play more Tests going forward so that we improve our stats as players,” said Chatara.
The 27-year-old suffered a huge setback towards the end of the year when he was stretchered off the pitch during the second Test against Bangladesh in Dhaka.
It was later revealed that he had a grade two quad muscle strain, ruling him out of the remainder of the fixture last month.
“I got injured in the last leg of our tour to Bangladesh and, as a result, I missed the remainder of the last Test. I also missed a couple of domestic games when the season begun last month.
“But the good thing is that it was not a very serious injury and I am up again. I have started training and will join my teammates when the domestic games resume after the holidays.
“So, it was a largely good year for me. My target for 2019 is to improve my stats in all formats of the game,” said Chatara. The Herald