Zimbabwe draw level, instill life

Published: Thursday, October 26, 2000, 3:50 [IST]
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Bulawayo: Zimbabwe pulled off a fine win on Saturday against the touring New Zealanders at the Queen's Club and in the process instilled life into the three-match series by drawing level. After Zimbabwe posted a commanding first innings total of 273 the Zimbabwe bowlers and fielders then pitched in with their mite to bring off an excellent win. Zimbabwe struck early when Fleming, who promoted himself to open the innings in view of the steep run rate, was caught down the leg off Streak. Replacing his skipper Craig Spearman then took charge of things stroking at a lively pace. However Streak dismissed Astle to reduce the Kiwis to 56 for two.

Spearman continued his free scoring ways to put up his half century in quick time to keep New Zealand in the hunt but his exit gave the home team a chance at the match.Roger Twose and McMillian then changed things for the New Zealanders and just when it looked like the two would steer the Kiwis to victory double disaster struck. Paul Strang dismissed the well-set Twose - caught and bowled - and in the same over effected a run out by gathering a hard low throw to disturb the stumps.

This twin blow at 189 proved to be the pivotal point in the Kiwi chase and the Zimbabweans never looked back since then. Although the Kiwis kept effecting big blows they kept losing wicket and eventually were all out for 252. For the home team Streak and Viljoen returned with a scalp of three wickets each.Earlier in the day Campbell came up with a sterling knock of 96 off 108 balls to launch Zimbabwe on their way to an intimidating total of 273 for five in 50 overs.

This was followed by Grant Flower's swift knock of 45 of 41 balls, thus ensuring Campbell's knock paid dividends, while skipper Heath Streak dealt a few lusty blows towards the fag end of the innings by striking Astle for two consecutive sixes.Alistair Campbell, opening the innings with Marillier gave the home team a sound start by putting on 83 runs for the first wicket. After his departure Campbell strung useful partnerships with Carlisle and Andy Flower before departing, four runs short of what would have been a magnificent hundered.

Nevertheless after his departure Grant Flower took on the responsibility of holding up one end while putting on useful partnerships with Andy, Whittall and Streak. Astle went for plenty in his last two overs with both Grant and Heath turning on the heat to give Zimbabwe a commanding total.

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