WC 2003 - We need to play much better against Pak, says Streak
Published: Sunday, February 9, 2003, 23:53 [IST]
Copyright AFP 2001
Zim keeps WC dream alive, beats Holland by 99 runs
Bulawayo (Zimbabwe): Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak on Saturday began plotting the downfall of Pakistan which stands in the way of his team and a place in the next round of the World Cup.But his men will have to buck the trend of history if it is to defeat Waqar Younis' side in Tuesday's make-or-break clash as Zimbabwe has only won two of the 31 One-dayers it has played against Pakistan with the last win coming over three years ago."We got off to a slow start against the Netherlands on Friday and we can't afford to do that against a team like Pakistan," said Streak after the 99-run win over the Dutchmen kept them on course for the Super Sixes."Our top order will have to be much more confident, even domineering, so that the pressure is taken off our middle order," he said."Several of our batsmen made good starts but only a couple went on to convert them into decent scores. Andy Blignaut played a major cameo role and he helped us reach 300 runs," said the skipper, who played in his country's last win against Pakistan in Sheikhupura in 1999.He took three for 40 as his team wrapped up a six wicket win that day but ever since it's been one long tale of woe with 11 defeats on the trot.Streak should also be able to welcome back Grant Flower, who missed the win over the Dutch because of a finger injury that required five stitches."The selectors thought they would risk giving him a rest against the Netherlands because we need him as a specialist fielder, to bowl 10 overs and bat as well."Overall, Streak thinks that his team is peaking at the right time for the crucial clash at the Queens Sports Club."We needed to win against the Dutch and win well, we did that. Against Pakistan that will be a big game but we will take a lot of positives from the game into Tuesday."Everything's looking good and the team is working hard. The bowlers are delivering it on the right length and we want to carry that on and give Pakistan a hard time."Meanwhile, Dutch skipper Roland Lefebvre said he had had no qualms about going to Zimbabwe unlike England which dithered and dallied until it announced a boycott of its scheduled match in Harare earlier in the tournament."The ICC said it was safe and so it has proved. We were quite comfortable and the wicket was the best we have played on in this tournament," said Lefebvre whose team has now lost all five of its World Cup matches.He was concerned about several niggling injuries ahead of the final match against Namibia in Bloemfontein on Monday. "But we have the benefit of knowing we played well under the circumstances here," he said after his team was forced to chase 301."To try and get 300 runs was very difficult. But we did our best and I'm happy we did quite well. We have had a good World Cup and enjoyed ourselves."