Zim out to make amends

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Soccer Sport Sport - Mehluli Sibanda Se­nior Sports Re­porter

ZIM­BABWE lost the first cricket Test against West by 117 runs in­side four days, some­thing they would want to avoid when the two teams meet in the sec­ond five-day con­test at Queens Sports Club which gets un­der­way to­day.

A poor first in­nings, which saw Zim­babwe be­ing bowled out for 159 cost them dearly. This was after the Zim­bab­wean bowlers had cleaned up West Indies for 219 in their first in­nings on a ter­rific open­ing day when the home team did ev­ery­thing right. In the end, Zim­babwe were set a mas­sive 434 runs to win the Test and they fell 117 runs short.

Yes­ter­day, na­tional team coach, Heath Streak said the play­ers had been given some days off with the team hav­ing re­turned to fine tun­ing last Fri­day. His thoughts were that there is not much they can do be­sides en­sur­ing that they stick with what worked in the first Test.

“Even though the Test only went for four days, we gave our quick bowlers a cou­ple of days off. We have gone through the stuff that we felt was ef­fec­tive and worked for us dur­ing the first Test. There is not re­ally much we can change in terms of our skills its just mak­ing sure that tac­ti­cally we know ex­actly what we want to do and what we want to ex­e­cute,’’ Streak said.

On pos­si­ble changes to the team, Streak’s em­pha­sis was that if there any, they would be done will­ingly as the idea is to main­tain the same side.

“We are un­likely to make un­forced changes, we got a cou­ple of nig­gles that we just man­ag­ing, we will have a fi­nal check to­mor­row on one or two guys but we try­ing not to change the team too much, that’s what we have done con­sis­tently over the last year, is to try to give guys a fair crack,’’ said Streak.

Na­tional team cap­tain, Graeme Cre­mer high­lighted the im­por­tance of hav­ing a good first in­nings and scor­ing at least 600 runs in the en­tire match to stand chance of win­ning a Test.

“That first in­nings with the bat is so cru­cial in Test cricket, if you don’t do so well in the first in­nings with the bat you al­ways chasing the game so we hop­ing to rec­tify that. We have planned a lot on the bowl­ing side so it not prob­a­bly chang­ing too much. In or­der to win a Test match you need to score 600 runs with your two in­nings so we will hope­fully do that,’’ Cre­mer said.

The sec­ond Test comes amid con­fir­ma­tion by Zim­babwe Cricket that their staff, in­clud­ing play­ers will only get part of their salaries for Oc­to­ber. Cre­mer said the de­vel­op­ment has no ef­fect on how the play­ers will per­form against West Indies as they have met with ZC man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Faisal Has­nain who has given them as­sur­ances that they will get what is due to them.

“It doesn’t worry us, we have had a chat with the MD, we know the po­si­tion ZC is in, it won’t af­fect the per­for­mance of the team. It’s not like guys won’t get their money, it’s just one of those things, it’s a tough en­vi­ron­ment some­times, we know with Faisal we will get through,’’ Cre­mer said.

The Bu­l­awayo crowd was out­stand­ing dur­ing the first Test and was even louder when lo­cal hero, Christo­pher Mpofu went out to bat. Streak yes­ter­day made a plea to the fans to give sup­port to all play­ers as they would cer­tainly lift the bats­men.

“My re­quest would be that the Bu­l­awayo crowd give the same sup­port they are giv­ing Bobby to all the play­ers, it would be good for us, it will lift the bat­ters to have the sup­port, they are out­stand­ing when Bobby comes out so if they could do that for the whole day it would be bril­liant,’’ said Streak.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Zimbabwe

© PressReader. All rights reserved.