HARARE – Sean Williams returned to the Zimbabwe side, for the three-match ODI series against Netherlands, after a prolonged absence with injury.

Williams even missed the first match of the series, won 2-1 by Zimbabwe after a thumping seven-wicket win at Harare Sports Club on Saturday, but the 36-year-old veteran from Bulawayo played well enough to be man-of-series following his three wickets and 43 runs on Saturday.

“I think I’ve been blessed there,” Williams said on Saturday in the post-match interview.

“I think I’m just very fortunate as an individual. I’ve been blessed with some talent. The mental side of my game is something I do train hard on in the nets. It’s very precise, and it’s very accurate. I know my role in the team and as a batsman especially in the middle order there, it carries quite a lot of weight. In the first two games, I learnt quite a lot. I’ll be honest with you, the 77 I got in the second game was the difference. Not getting the 100 was the difference between winning by one run and winning by 40. I think that is something that is extremely important for me as an individual, as somebody that is trying to show the younger guys how to construct an innings and taking the game deep.”

Left-handed batter and spinner Williams, answering a two-part question, one concerning fellow spin bowling all-rounder Wessly Madhevere, the Zimbabwe Test skipper spoke highly of the 22-year-old from Chitungwiza.

“I’m going to start with Wes, because that makes me smile,” Williams beamed. “I think that is huge. Wes is an immensely talented kid. He’s such a competitor, he’s a fierce competitor. For me, he is a match-winner. If you look at the domestic league and look at what he has done for Mashonaland Eagles, not many people of his age are capable of doing that. It’s huge for us as a team, especially now that he is growing in confidence as a player. I look forward to what he can do.”

Outside Madhevere, Williams is also delighted to show the way to other younger members of the squad.

“It’s huge for me as a senior player and the other senior players to be setting the standards for the junior players that are growing up under us. Mentoring these boys, I think that if we carry along these lines, we’ll keep improving and start beating better sides.”

The Dutch side was generally competitive over the three matches, well acknowledged by Williams.

“I think they are a really good side,” commented Williams. “A lot of them are from other countries – Australia, New Zealand, everywhere. I really do rate them highly. I think they can beat any side on their day. And for me, for the game of cricket, I love the fact that these teams are starting to compete with everybody in the world. For the game itself, it’s a huge thing.”


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