Mar­tial helps United sink Spurs

The Sunday Mail (Zimbabwe) - - SPORT - Brighton Zhawi

A YEAR on as the Zim­babwe na­tional cricket team coach, Heath Streak high­lights that the Chevrons are still a work in progress with the big goal be­ing qual­i­fy­ing for the 2019 World Cup in Eng­land.

Streak was ap­pointed na­tional team coach on October 11, 2016 and sounds con­tent with the progress the team has made un­der his watch.

“I think we have been good, we have made some progress es­pe­cially in One­day cricket. If you look at our win­ning ra­tio this year, it is about 50 per­cent higher than teams like the West Indies (18,75 per­cent) and Bangladesh (36,36 per­cent). We are pretty happy with that, but we are still a work in progress,” he said.

Zim­babwe will host the World Cup qual­i­fiers next year and will have to fin­ish in the top two to make it to Eng­land.

“Def­i­nitely, we want to qual­ify and we will make sure that we are ready. Ob­vi­ously play­ing at home gives us a strong chance to be one of the two teams that qual­ify, but we still have to ENG­LAND. — Sub­sti­tute An­thony Mar­tial’s 81st minute strike yes­ter­day gave Manch­ester United a 1-0 win over Tot­ten­ham Hot­spur at Old Traf­ford to keep them in touch with Premier League lead­ers Manch­ester City.

Af­ter last week’s sur­prise de­feat at Hud­der­s­field Town, Jose Mour­inho’s team could ill af­ford an­other slip-up and they had to bat­tle hard against a re­silient Spurs to take the points.

United move on to 23 points, five be­hind lead­ers City who saw off West Bromwich 3-2, while third-placed Spurs re­main on 20 points.

The im­pact from sub­sti­tutes Jesse Lingard and French for­ward Mar­tial proved de­ci­sive in the lat­ter stages of a largely at­tri­tional bat­tle in sweep­ing rain.

Tot­ten­ham, with­out their top scorer Harry Kane who was ruled out with a ham­string in­jury, played some tidy and pro­gres­sive foot­ball in mid­field.

But al­though South Korean winger Son He­ung-min, play­ing in a cen­tral strik­ing role, pro­vided some in­tel­li­gent move­ment and linked up well, the threat­en­ing pres­ence of Kane, the league’s top scorer with eight goals, was not sur­pris­ingly missed.

Spurs have now lost 21 of their 26 trips to Old Traf­ford in the Premier League era – their worst away record against any club in the divi­sion.

Mar­cus Rash­ford pro­vided an early play good cricket,” said Streak, whose reign started with a 0-2 Test se­ries de­feat to Sri Lanka at Harare Sports Club in the month of his ap­point­ment.

Zim­babwe went on to play a one­off Test away to Sri Lanka in July this year and lost by four wick­ets de­spite a promis­ing start.

And af­ter an­other en­cour­ag­ing start in the first Test against West Indies last week, Zim­babwe lost by 117 runs.

The sec­ond Test starts to­day and Streak is ea­ger to bag his first win in the long­est for­mat of the game.

“I think the guys know where we can im­prove, and if we can im­prove by about 20 per­cent we will have a good chance,” he said.

Streak has In­dian Premier League ex­pe­ri­ence as bowl­ing coach for the Gu­jarat Lions af­ter also be­ing Bangladesh’s bowl­ing coach, but he says he still views him­self as a stu­dent of the game.

“The day you think you know it all is the day you should retire. It’s not just about know­ing cricket, but also man­ag­ing peo­ple and cre­at­ing the right en­vi­ron­ment,” he said.

Had Alli cho­sen his right foot, and opened up more space for his shot, he may well have found the tar­get.

Lingard’s deep cross to­wards the back post was headed firmly - but against the post - by Lukaku and it was be­gin­ning to feel like it might not be United’s day.

But then Mour­inho’s side grabbed the win and in the most ba­sic of man­ners.

A long ball from De Gea was flicked on by Lukaku into the path of the on-run­ning Mar­tial and the French­man con­fi­dently slot­ted past Lloris. — Reuters.

Heath Streak

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