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Zim seek final flourish

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The Zimbabwe national cricket team will seek to finish with a flourish when they clash with India tomorrow in the ICC Cricket World Cup Group B dead rubber with former heading home after this match while the champions march on to the last eight.

BY KEVIN MAPASURE IN AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND

It will be no ordinary match as both teams still have all to play for even though that will not have any bearing towards qualification.

India have a winning streak to protect having so far gone nine matches unbeaten while, Zimbabwe are out for some glory having failed many a time in this showpiece.

All-rounder Sean Williams almost took Zimbabwe across the line with some fine batting on Saturday against Ireland, but fell short.

He made 96 runs while stand in captain Brendan Taylor hit 121.

Williams is aiming to continue doing well with the bat but seeks better fortunes with the ball in tomorrow’s clash at Eden Park here.

“There is all to play for in this match,” said Williams. “We want to put many things right about our game. We want to bowl better and we want to field better. What more inspiration does one require than doing well against a team like India.

It’s going to be a tough match, but we are inspired to do well.”
Williams is hoping that Eden Park will be a full house and they can finish off the otherwise disappointing tournament on the positive.

Zimbabwe has on many occasions found themselves on the wrong end of bad umpiring decisions against West Indies, Pakistan and Ireland and went on to lose all three matches.

But they have also been their own enemies especially with the fielding and bowling sides of their game.

Against Ireland they leaked 103 runs in the last ten overs.

Last Saturday, they dropped four crucial catches and had those been taken they might not have been asked to chase a big a total as 332.
Speaking for the first time about his dismissal on Saturday, Williams said that he was not amused when he learnt that John Mooney had infact not taken a clean catch and it was the fourth umpire who stopped him from going back in the middle.

“We needed 32 runs from the last 19 balls and at that stage we needed to up the run rate. I picked out on Kevin Obrien and I thought I could hit a few boundaries off him.

When I hit one looking for a six Mooney made the catch. From where I was I could not tell whether his foot had touched the boundary, so I only waited briefly because the umpires were checking on the front foot no ball. As soon as I saw on the big screen that there was no overstepping I decided to walk. I only realised whilst in the changing room that I wasn’t supposed to have been given out but I couldn’t go back.”

Williams said he has since moved on from the disappointment and he is looking to do well in the next match despite the consequences Zimbabwe suffered.

There have been many setbacks for Zimbabwe at this tournament but Williams has seen the positive side of this World Cup.

“Since Dav Whatmore took over things have moved so quickly we have improved in many aspects of the game both as individuals and as a team. I think given more time and more matches we are going to be a good team.”

Zimbabwe will line up the same team that played against Ireland tomorrow with Elton Chigumbura having been ruled out with a muscle tear.

Chamu Chibhabha and Craig Ervine both have minor injuries but should be fine to play tomorrow.

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