ICC claim tour boosts England's reputation

England 263-6
Zimbabwe 102
England win by 161 runs

England's controversial tour of Zimbabwe may not have won Michael Vaughan's side many admirers at home, but, according to Ehsan Mani, the president of the International Cricket Council, it has raised their standing among fellow members of the ICC.

England's controversial tour of Zimbabwe may not have won Michael Vaughan's side many admirers at home, but, according to Ehsan Mani, the president of the International Cricket Council, it has raised their standing among fellow members of the ICC.

The England and Wales Cricket Board's status amongst the international cricket community reached an all-time low after England refused to play a qualifying match in Zimbabwe during the 2003 World Cup.

Mani made these comments during a brief visit to Harare, where he yesterday watched England thrash Zimbabwe by 161 runs. The ICC president heaped praise on David Morgan, the chairman of the England and Wales Cricket Board, for the role he played in handling this contentious and complicated affair.

"David Morgan has been very impressive in the way he has handled this issue," said Mani. "He has been honest and frank with everyone even though he has had a lot of domestic pressure at home."

During his time in Zimbabwe, Mani will also hold a meeting with Vaughan's squad. "I want to find out how they have found cricket here in Zimbabwe," he said. "I want to hear what they have to say. I felt it was important for me to be here because there have always been concerns about this tour and I wanted to see it for myself."

On the field here yesterday, England's opposition at the Harare Sports Club may have been weak but there was something special about Kevin Pietersen's batting during his unbeaten innings of 77.

Andrew Flintoff and Piet-ersen batting at five and six for England in limited-over cricket? England supporters will have to wait until next summer to witness this mouth-watering proposition, after Pietersen was overlooked for England's seven one-day internationals against South Africa in January and February. But it is only a matter of time before these two destructive batsmen combine to take apart bowling attacks.

Pietersen struck four thunderous boundaries and two huge sixes during his 95 minutes at the crease. One of the sixes was hit so hard that it bounced 40 yards back on to the field of play after hitting a wall at the top of a stand behind the bowler.

The powerful right-hander received wonderful support from Geraint Jones - who scored a career-best 66 - and it was largely because of the blistering 85-ball partnership of 120 between this pair that England trounced Zimbabwe by 161 runs. This victory takes Michael Vaughan's side into a 2-0 lead in the four-match series.

England's selectors will have enjoyed watching the 24-year-old South Africa-raised batsman, but they also know his arrival will lead to a reorganisation of the batting order. England's middle order - Vaughan at three, Andrew Strauss at four, Flintoff at five, Paul Collingwood at six and Jones at seven - looked pretty solid during the Champions' Trophy in September but it must change - Pietersen is too good to leave out.

In order to accommodate Hampshire's winter signing from Nottinghamshire, England would need to drop one of these five. But this is highly unlikely and a more realistic option is for Strauss or Vaughan to move back to the top of the order, where they would open with Marcus Trescothick.

England's day began with the team witnessing their first opposition from Zimbabweans to this tour. England's 14-man squad were gathering outside the hotel when three black protesters walked to the side of the team coach with a placard. It read: "No Justice. No Cricket. Free Roy Bennett."

Roy Bennet is a white member of the opposition party, who was sentenced to 15 months' hard labour for allegedly pushing a government MP during a debate. Yesterday's protest lasted a minute before security guards asked them to move, which they politely did.

England's batting, until Pietersen and Jones came together, was unimpressive. Tinashe Panyangara, an exciting young fast bowler, dismissed Ian Bell and Vaughan in his opening spell and it took a 63-run partnership between Vikram Solanki and Strauss to settle matters down. But these two, along with Collingwood, fell before the end of the 35th over and England, on 121-5, were in trouble.

But then Pietersen and Jones began to gorge themselves. For 39 overs Zimbabwe had competed well, only to see it all disappear in an 11-over spell which conceded 123 runs.

Zimbabwe started well against Darren Gough and James Anderson but once Stuart Matsikenyeri top-edged a pull to mid-on their innings fell apart. Tatenda Taibu attempted to give his side's total an air of respectability but Alex Wharf and Collingwood took seven easy wickets and the hosts fell to the second heaviest defeat in their 271-game history.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Rumer was diagnosed with bipolarity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder: 'I was convinced it was a misdiagnosis'
peopleHer debut album caused her post-traumatic stress - how will she cope as she releases her third record?
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave long-running series
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
voices
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Sport
A long jumper competes in the 80-to-84-year-old age division at the 2007 World Masters Championships
athletics
Life and Style
Walking tall: unlike some, Donatella Versace showed a strong and vibrant collection
fashionAlexander Fury on the staid Italian clothing industry
Arts and Entertainment
Gregory Porter learnt about his father’s voice at his funeral
music
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Life and Style
Children at the Leytonstone branch of the Homeless Children's Aid and Adoption Society tuck into their harvest festival gifts, in October 1936
food + drinkThe harvest festival is back, but forget cans of tuna and packets of instant mash
Sport
Lewis Hamilton will start the Singapore Grand Prix from pole, with Nico Rosberg second and Daniel Ricciardo third
F1... for floodlit Singapore Grand Prix
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam