It was the 181-run stand between the pint-sized Taibu and Ervine that sailed the Zimbabwean ship out of trouble.
New Delhi: Zimbabwe, who were tottering at two wickets for just seven runs at one point in their innings, reached 298/9 at the end of 50 overs against Canada. And it was the 181-run stand between the pint-sized Tatenda Taibu and Craig Ervine that sailed the Zimbabwean ship out of trouble.
The momentum given by the two batters was carried forward by the batsmen who followed. It also gave the African nation more than enough runs to challenge their North American opponents.
Taibu, who would have earned a few more accolades had his career not been shortened by a revolt that he and his former teammates were involved in against the political dictatorship in their homeland, matched his attacking shots with his equally impressive defensive strokes.
On the other hand, Ervine - younger brother of a little more famous Sean Ervine - not just supported the 27-year-old Taibu but also eased pressure off the little man by hitting six boundaries and two maximums in his delectable 81-ball 85 runs.
The two batsmen complemented each other shot-by-shot. If one hit a boundary, the other would stole a single and vice-versa.
The more experienced Zimbabwean hit three more fours than his younger partner.
It's not sure whether Canada would have turned the tables had the two talented batsmen not secured that vital stand but it might have given them a sniff with a smaller total to chase if Taibu and Ervine had failed.