Donald Tiripano was left heartbroken for falling short on a maiden Test hundred when he was dismissed on 95 in the second Test of the recent series against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi.
The 33-year-old is set to make a cricket comeback in the Logan Cup after Zimbabwe Cricket offered them a break following the Afghanistan series.
With the Pakistan series of two Tests and the T20Is confirmed for April, Tiripano says he is feeling good.
There is more excitement for the all-rounder whose wife, Chipo Mugeri, Zimbabwe Cricket women’s team batsman, is expecting their third child.
I caught up with the Mountaineers man in this edition of The Third Man.
BZ: Let’s start from the 95. How heart-breaking was it to be dismissed five runs short of a maiden Test hundred?
DT: It hurts but l believe it just shows what is inside, there is more to come God permitting
BZ: Your partnership with Sean Williams was record breaking. What sort of chats were you having whilst out there?
DT: I enjoyed batting with Sean, he constantly reminded me to keep my focus and to keep coming forward, he always says team first, l just gave it all l had for my team. The skipper, well, I can’t say much he always leads from the front scoring big.
BZ: You now have a history of being involved in big lower order partnerships, you had another one with Graeme Cremer against Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club. How do you do it?
DT: I just realised that I am a guy who strives under pressure, when things seem tough those are the situations l really perform to my best and also l don’t like losing.
BZ: Can we call you an all-rounder now. Or are you still a bowler who bats or you have always been an all-rounder?
DT: I think with experience its helping me to become an all-rounder
BZ: It would have been a more special birthday if you had scored that hundred. How did you celebrate your birthday?
DT: Definitely would have been nice, l really appreciate my team for all they did to celebrate my birthday, though did have a good game that day
BZ: Tell me about the reverse sweep. It seems to be one of your favourite shots…
DT: Yes, l love that shot it’s a game changer and a good armour to have especially when facing accurate spin bowling.
BZ: Zimbabwe is playing Pakistan in April, more game time for you guys, something you have always wanted right…
DT: Definitely we were always itching to play more international games and it will be a perfect opportunity for the lads to express themselves.
BZ: And what do you make of your personal form ahead of this series?
DT: Am feeling good at the moment and cricket is a confidence game so yeah I am positive.
BZ: How helpful was the break from bubbles and cricket after the Afghanistan series. I understand you guys were given some off days?
DT: Oh, Wow, l so happy to be with my family, especially my wife, at the moment she can’t play so will play on her behalf and score some runs for her.
BZ: She is expecting…How excited are you?
DT: Am overwhelmed
BZ: Mountaineers have been dominant in the Logan Cup but this season proved to be tough, what happened?
DT: This year we struggled especially with our batting we lost some key players couldn’t find the balance quick enough and also the season is very shot, if you lose one or 2 games its game over
BZ: How do you see the last match against the Rocks, they are eyeing an unbeaten season and your side desperately needs a win for some pride I guess?
DT: It’s going to be a good game this one coz we are not going to hold back.