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Pakistan aim to win Zimb tie for Woolmer

Published: Wednesday, March 21, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Kingston (Jamaica):Heart-broken Pakistan have an opportunity to pay an on-field tribute to coach Bob Woolmer when they play Zimbabwe in their last Group A tie here at Sabina Park on Wednesday.

Woolmer, 58, died after collapsing in his hotel room in Jamaica, only hours after the team's shock defeat by Ireland last weekend.

The result of that match is inconsequental for Pakistan as they are out of World Cup.

But they want to bow out with a win and have Shahid Afridi available after completing a four-match ban.

Skipper Inzamam-ul-Haq will be playing his 378th and final ODI.

Inzamam has told his players that they owe it to Woolmer's memory and to themselves to go out and perform to the level they are capable of a level they failed to reach in their opening two games against West Indies and the Irish.

"We'll do our best for Bob, but whatever we do, it won't be enough. He was a good man. Whenever any of the boys had a problem, he'd sit with them, and we were very attached to him.

"After the game against Eire, he went to all the boys and cheered them up. He told them that these things happen in life.

"That was his greatest quality. Even in the bad times, he would think positive," said Inzamam.

Mushtaq Ahmed, who has taken over as temporary head coach, said there had been a mood of 'total depression' in the Pakistan camp since the tragedy took place, but they would give the match 'their best shot'.

"The loss of Bob Woolmer is the biggest blow in the history of the Pakistan cricket team. He was a father figure to all of us," he added.

On paper, Pakistan should be too strong for Zimbabwe, having beaten them in 30 of the 34 games between the two sides and losing only twice - the most recent defeat as long ago as November 1998.

But Zimbabwe still have an outside chance of qualifying from the group along with West Indies, and performed well against the hosts on Monday when their total of 202-5 was only passed with 13 balls to spare.

"I thought the guys fought well against the West Indies, and now we must do the same against Pakistan and see where it takes us," said skipper Prosper Utseya.

Squads

Pakistan: Inzamam-ul-Haq (capt), Azhar Mahmood, Danish Kaneria, Imran Nazir, Kamran Akmal (wk), Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Yousuf, Rana Naved-ul-Hasan, Rao Iftikhar, Shahid Afridi, Shoaib Malik, Umar Gul, Yasir Arafat and Younis Khan. Coach: Mushtaq Ahmed.

Zimbabwe: P Utseya (capt), G Brent, J Chibhabha, E Chigumbura, K Dabengwa, T Duffin, A Ireland, F Kasteni, S Matsikenyeri, C Mpofu, T Mupariwa, E Rainsford, V Sibanda, B Taylor(wk) and S Williams. Coach: Kevin Curren.

Umpires: Simon Taufel (Aus) and Brian Jerling (RSA)

Agencies

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