Canada, Zimbabwe lock horns in ''Battle of Minnows''

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Kushan Sarkar

Nagpur, Feb 27 (PTI) Beaten comprehensively in theirrespective opening encounters, Elton Chigumbura''s determinedZimbabweans will take on Canada in the cricket World Cup''s''Battle of the Minnows'' here tomorrow.

While Zimbabwe bowlers managed to restrict Australia to262 in their first match, their batsmen couldn''t soak in thepressure and were all-out for 171.

Canada, on the other hand, were no match for former worldchampions Sri Lanka as they were walloped by 210 runs in thenewly built Hambantota stadium.

Tomorrow''s Group A match will be the best chance for bothteams to try and force a victory which will give themrequisite confidence to fight in the month-long tournament.

With the format being very difficult for the minnows, avictory will certainly keep these teams interested in showingstomach for fight.

On paper, Zimbabweans are a superior side with playerswho have a lot of ODI cricket against the big teams againsttheir names.

However, winning is a habit and certainly something thathasn''t been the strength of the African nation which has seena lot of political turmoil in the last few years.

Yet the likes of Chigumbura, Tatenda Taibu, BrendanTaylor, Ray Price will hope to showcase their fighting abilityon the biggest stage.

Since it will be a day match, the bowlers may expect abit of help early in the morning but the Jamtha strip is anabsolute belter where batsmen will make merry once they settheir eye in.

Charles Coventry, Taylor and Taibu are the three batsmenon whom Zimbabwe''s hopes of a big total will rest.

A big innings would be expected from Coventry who onceheld the world record for the highest individual score in ODIs(194 not out) before Sachin Tendulkar surpassed him.

The Zimbabwean bowling is largely dependent on their spintrio of left-armer Ray Price, offie Prosper Utseya andleg-break bowler Graeme Cremer.

The Jamtha strip slows down as the day progresses and itmight just help the slower bowlers.

Canada will be hoping that they put up a decent showwhich will have the big bosses of International CricketCouncil sit up and take notice.

With the number of teams for the 2015 World Cup beingreduced to 10, it will be a last chance for the Canadians toshowcase their skills at the world stage.

The cavalier John Davison, who caught everyone''simagination with a blazing century in the 2003 edition, wouldlike to make an impression. .

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