Moor, a silver line glazing Zim cricket
By Tiri Masawi
WINDHOEK – Rising Zimbabwean cricket sensation, Peter Moor (26), who was in Namibia last week, is providing a silver lining to the dark cloud of that country’s cricket which has gone through a rough patch and has failed to compete with the other top nine ranked Test plying nations since 2002.
Moor scored a well-orchestrated three half centuries while batting against a full strength Namibian team in the first of four matches played by the two teams in Namibia.
Zimbabwe A batted first and scored 236-6, then dismissed Namibia all out for 205 runs at Wanderers Sports Club at the beginning of a four-match series between the two close neighbours last Saturday.
Zimbabwe A in their four match series played at Trustco and Wanderers sports clubs completed a four-nil whitewash of Namibia in the series. In the other three matches Zimbabwe A won the second match by 123 runs after scoring 279 and Namibia replied with 156.
The Zimbabweans continued with their dominance in the third and fourth matches, wining the third match by five wickets and the last match by 36 runs upon scoring 280 and Namibia responding with 244.
Namibia is, however, ranked as a third tier cricket team in the world as they do not play in the lucrative Test circuit and does not have test status. The Namibian bowling pack had no clue on how to handle Moor’s attacking abilities and solid defence .
Zimbabwean cricket has been going through its own fair share of challenges coupled by failure of most of the experienced players to come to the party when needed, an exodus of players who are lured by money to England and Australia, lack of financial resources and failure to attract more matches with the big boys in both Test match and One Day Internationals as they have not been competitive enough in the past few years.
Zimbabwe cricket, however, springs its own surprises in the much shorter version of the game known as Twenty 20 where they have performed their giant killing acts including the popular win against giants Australia in one of the World Cups.
The cricketing big guns are England, Australia, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh and New Zealand.
Moor, who was part of the Zimbabwe developmental A squad that toured Namibia last week, showed traits of brilliance with both the bat and the gloves, reminiscent of that country’s all-time best batsman Andy Flower who has since retired.
While Flower’s shoes are difficult to fill, time will tell whether this is the man Zimbabwe cricket have been waiting for to inspire a battered team that despite rare moments of brilliance in the past sometimes just seems as if is dominated by low morale and does not know how to put together a convincing win even when the odds and cricketing gods are smiling at them.
More fascinating is Moor’s control while on the crease and also his ability to rub off influence to other players and eventually significantly contribute to a positive team result. Perhaps that is why Ferdose Musonda, renowned cricket writer for CricInfo, in one of his pieces referred to Moor as a bright prospect for Zimbabwean cricket.
It could be early days ye but if Moor takes it one day at a time it won’t be long before Zimbabwe cricket basks in its former glory and becomes a force to reckon with again.
Zimbabwe Cricket has for a while not produced exciting young players of Moor’s calibre since Hamilton Masakadza smashed a century on debut against a fancied West Indies in a packed Harare Sports Club a few years back or when Tatenda Taibu became the first black captain of the squad years back and even more recently when former captain Brendon Taylor bowed out of the international game with a scintillating century against India in a wold cup.
To many cricket fanatics, Moor might just be another junior coming from a very vibrant Under 19 squad for Zimbabwe, but for his abilities and talent he shows prospects of reviving the game that had sunk into the doldrums resulting in the Chevrons becoming the whipping boys of international cricket, losing to minnows such as Afghanistan.
He first featured in the popular red strip for the Zimbabwe national team during the last tour by heavy weights Sri Lanka in Harare not so long ago but his star continues to blossom in a team that is desperate for talent with the bat.
Namibian bowling line up is not the best that any batsman can face but what seemed outstanding about the rising Zimbabwean batsman was his ability to control innings and value team contribution ahead of individual glory.
Even more challenging was that he also keeps wicket for the national team, a challenging feat in itself that has not seen many thrive in the past save for a few.
If he does not falter to international cricketing pressure, Moor indeed creates the impression that Zimbabwe cricket, despite all the challenges on and off the field, could rise to its former self.
Moor has to date featured in three test matches, 19 ODIs and eight T20s with two half centuries in both test and ODI.