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Zimbabwe aim a revival through Sri Lanka

Published: Friday, October 8, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Rawalpindi:Zimbabwe captain Tatenda Taibu was hoping his makeshift side would draw inspiration from a strong recent showing against Sri Lanka when they take on the Asian champions here.

Zimbabwe, looking to bounce back after two defeats to Pakistan in the ongoing tri-series, would take heart from their performance against Sri Lanka at the ICC Champions trophy in England last month, he said on Friday.

"We must improve on our performance from the last match against Sri Lanka when we came close to upsetting them, and the fact that we are fighting to stay in this tri-series may help us lift our game," said Taibu.

Zimbabwe gave Sri Lanka a scare in the ICC (International Cricket Council) Champions Trophy when, after scoring 191, Taibu's men restricted Sri Lanka to 195-6 to lose by four wickets.

"That last match can be a motivation that we can do well against Sri Lanka," said Taibu, who at 20 became international cricket's youngest captain in April following a strike by 15 white players.

The strike weakened the Zimbabwe team and since then they have lost 12 matches, including a 144-run drubbing and three-wicket loss against Pakistan in this tournament.

Sri Lanka lost their first match on Wednesday by eight wickets to hosts Pakistan, who have already qualified for October 16 final in Lahore, and captain Marvan Atapattu said his side would not be taking Zimbabwe lightly.

"We were the first to play a new-look Zimbabwe in April this year and since then they have improved, showed what they are capable of doing, so we must not take them lightly," said Atapattu, who saw his middle order crumbled against Pakistan.

"We had a slump in the middle of our innings so we must avoid that when we play Zimbabwe as our aim is to qualify for the final," said the Sri Lankan captain.

If Sri Lanka wins this match with a bonus point they will qualify for the final, making inconsequential their second match against Zimbabwe on Monday and the last league game against Pakistan on October 14.

Teams: (from)

Sri Lanka: Marvan Atapattu (capt), Sanath Jayasuriya, Kumar Sangakkara, Mahela Jayawardene, Tillakaratne Dilshan, Saman Jayantha, Avishka Gunawardene, Farveez Maharoof, Chaminda Vaas, Upul Chandana, Nuwan Zoysa, Dilhara Fernando, Thilina Kandamby, Rangana Herath, Kaushal Lokuarachchi

Zimbabwe: Tatenda Taibu, Brendon Taylor, Vusimuzi Sibanda, Dion Ebrahim, Mark Vermeulen, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Alestar Maregwede, Mluleki Nkala, Elton Chigumbura, Edward Rainsford, Tawanda Mupariwa, Prosper Utseya, Douglas Hondo, Tinashe Panyangara, Alexandar Graeme Cremer

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