Christopher Mpofu

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Chris Mpofu
Personal information
Full name Christopher Bobby Mpofu
Born (1985-11-27) 27 November 1985 (age 31)
Plumtree, Matebeleland, Zimbabwe
Batting Right handed
Bowling Right arm medium
Role Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 68) 6 January 2005 v Bangladesh
Last Test 14 July 2017 v Sri Lanka
ODI debut (cap 84) 28 November 2004 v England
Last ODI 10 July 2017 v Sri Lanka
ODI shirt no. 28
T20I debut (cap 22) 9 January 2007 v England
Last T20I 28 October 2015 v Afghanistan
Domestic team information
Years Team
2004–06 Matabaleland
2005; 2011 Zimbabwe
2004 Mashonaland
2006–09 Westerns
2009+ Matabeleland Tuskers
Career statistics
Competition Test ODI T20I FC
Matches 12 79 20 76
Runs scored 58 46 13 734
Batting average 4.14 2.30 6.50 8.43
100s/50s 0/0 0/0 0/0 0/0
Top score 20 6 6* 36
Balls bowled 2,096 3,707 426 12,421
Wickets 25 87 16 207
Bowling average 48.84 38.39 38.50 31.35
5 wickets in innings 0 1 0 6
10 wickets in match 0 n/a n/a 0
Best bowling 4/92 6/52 3/16 7/37
Catches/stumpings 2/0 11/- 3/- 16/-
Source: CricketArchive, ESPNcricinfo, 18 July 2017

Christopher Bobby "Chris" Mpofu (born 27 November 1985) is a Zimbabwean cricketer. He has represented Zimbabwe at Test, ODI and Twenty20 International level.

A tall seam bowler, he hits the pitch hard and can get good away movement – but as with many young quick bowlers consistency is his major problem. Technically, he has a good action but a better brace of his front leg through his delivery stride would allow him to make the most of his height, rather than collapsing as he tends to do at the moment.

Early career[edit]

Mpofu made his first-class debut for Matabeleland against Manicaland in March 2004, taking three wickets on debut.[1] In the 2004/05 Faithwear Inter-Clothing Provincial One-Day Competition, Mpofu was the leading wicket-taker with 11 wickets.[2] He repeated the performance with again in the 2005/06 edition with 9 wickets.[3]

International career[edit]

Following the mass exodus of top level players in the Zimbabwean cricket crisis of 2004, Mpofu made his One-Day International debut against England, and cost the English team some anxious moments.[4]

Following the exodus of the rebels, Mpofu was given his Test debut against Bangladesh at the M. A. Aziz Stadium, Chittagong. He had scores of 0 and 5 in the match. The match was an indication of Zimbabwe's horrific decline in Tests as Bangladesh secured their maiden Test victory that too by a major 226 runs.[5]

One definite shortcoming, is his crease occupation. Not content with being stumped twice in an afternoon (for a pair) in the first Test against New Zealand in August 2005,[6] he followed up by being run out for 3 in the second match, as he strolled down the pitch to congratulate his teammate Blessing Mahwire on reaching his half-century, with the ball still in action.[7] He still tends to blow hot and cold and has few rivals in the race to be considered international cricket's worst batsman.

Despite containing the basics, a good away movement, and a good action, Mpofu struggled, as for a long time he was the lone seamer among a cluster of spinners, and he had no one to help him out, and consistency was a major problem for the young seamer. There was a game against Pakistan in which he took 1/75.[8]

International comeback[edit]

As Mpofu later recalled, Zimbabwe's short tour of South Africa in 2010 was the most toughest part of his life. On flat batting pitches without any assistance to seamers, Mpofu recorded unflattering bowling figures of 1 for 59 in the Twenty20 match in Kimberley,[9] and 0/59 in a One-Day International at Bloemfontein.[10] Mpofu later said that he thought about Mick Lewis in that 438-game and how he never played for Australia again, and whether the same fate would befall Mpofu too.[11]

It was former Zimbabwean fast-bowling great Heath Streak who helped Mpofu believe he could. When Streak was appointed as bowling coach, Mpofu had a sense that things were changing. The two had a more good understanding because Streak who also came from Matabeleland as Mpofu spoke in his mother language, Ndebele. Streak told Mpofu that in cricket, he needed a wider repoirtoire of balls. Furthermore, former English Test cricketer Robin Jackman told him after his disastrous performances in South Africa that if he had to succeed in international cricket, he will have to bowl a slower ball. Mpofu first tried that experiment in the nets, and following success there, tried them in an international match situation. This chain of incidents proved to be a turning point in Mpofu's career.[12]

A string of decent performances followed in the 2010 tri-series against India and Sri Lanka, as Zimbabwe beat India (twice) and Sri Lanka (once) to reach the final ahead of favorites India, ultimately finishing as runners-up. Mpofu continued in the same vein in the team's tour of Ireland. Mpofu took 8 wickets from this two combined series.[13]

2011 Cricket World Cup[edit]

Mpofu had a fine World Cup 2011 performance, with 7 wickets at an average of 22.71 from 4 matches and eased into a more senior role for Zimbabwe. Furthermore, he found a new-ball partner with Ray Price and created a new celebration jig with him as any one of them got a wicket.[14]

Late career[edit]

Mpofu played in Zimbabwe's comeback Test match against Bangladesh, and took 5 wickets as Zimbabwe recorded their first victory since 2004 by a major 130 runs.[15]

Chris Mpofu continued his good wicket-taking form in the next Test against Pakistan, by taking 2 wickets in the only innings he bowled. Another highlight being his six in the Zimbabwean first innings off Pakistan's stalwart spinner Saeed Ajmal that brought up the Zimbabwean 400. Despite this, the match was a heavy 7-wicket loss for the hosts who were playing at Bulawayo.[16]

Mpofu continued his fine form in the next Test against New Zealand where he took 4 wickets in a single innings to restrict New Zealand to 426. He eventually finished with another 5-wicket haul. Despite captain Brendan Taylor's brilliant innings of 117 in the last innings, Zimbabwe lost the match narrowly by 34 runs, owing much to Black Caps debutant Doug Bracewell's 5-wicket haul that overshadowed Mpofu's and Kyle Jarvis's.[17]

Records[edit]

  • He is the world record holder for conceding the least number of runs (6runs) without bowling a maiden over in a T20 International after bowling the complete quota of overs.[18][19]

International record[edit]

ODI 5 Wicket hauls[edit]

# Figures Match Opponent Venue City Country Year
1 6/52 28  Kenya Gymkhana Club Ground Nairobi Kenya 2008

International Awards[edit]

ODI Man of the Match Awards[edit]

S No Opponent Venue Date Match Performance Result
1 Afghanistan Harare Sports Club, Harare 24 February 2017 7.5–2–25–3 ;DNB  Zimbabwe won by 7 wickets (D/L method).[20]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Matabeleland v Manicaland, 2004 – CricketArchive. Retrieved 4 August 2011.
  2. ^ Records / Faithwear Clothing Inter-Provincial One-Day Competition, 2004/05 / Most wickets Archived 22 January 2013 at Archive.is ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  3. ^ Records / Faithwear Clothing Inter-Provincial One-Day Competition, 2005/06 / Most wickets Archived 23 January 2013 at Archive.is ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  4. ^ England in Zimbabwe ODI Series – 1st ODI Scorecard ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  5. ^ Zimbabwe in Bangladesh Test Series – 1st Test ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  6. ^ New Zealand in Zimbabwe Test Series – 1st Test ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  7. ^ New Zealand in Zimbabwe Test Series – 2nd Test ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  8. ^ Mpofu takes it slow ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  9. ^ Zimbabwe in South Africa T20I Series – 2nd T20I ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  10. ^ Zimbabwe in South Africa ODI Series – 1st ODI ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  11. ^ Mpofu takes it slow ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  12. ^ Mpofu takes it slow ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  13. ^ Statistics / Statsguru / CB Mpofu / One-Day Internationals ESPNCricinfo Statsguru. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  14. ^ Statistics / Statsguru / CB Mpofu / One-Day Internationals ESPNCricinfo Stasguru. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  15. ^ Bangladesh in Zimbabwe Test Match ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  16. ^ Pakistan in Zimbabwe Test Match ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  17. ^ New Zealand in Zimbabwe Test Match ESPNCricinfo. Retrieved 14 December 2011
  18. ^ "Seven men bowled, and Yousuf's purple patch". Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  19. ^ "3rd Place Playoff: Canada v Zimbabwe at King City (NW), Oct 13, 2008 – Cricket Scorecard – ESPN Cricinfo". Retrieved 24 February 2017. 
  20. ^ "Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 4th ODI: Zimbabwe v Afghanistan at Harare, Feb 24, 2017". ESPN Cricinfo. Retrieved 24 February 2017. 

External links[edit]