ZIMBABWE national team coach, Heath Streak is bitterly disappointed after the team’s loss to the United Arab Emirates which saw them fail to qualify for the International Cricket Council World Cup finals that will be staged in England.
BY Kevin Mapasure
Needing a win in their match on Thursday, Zimbabwe were hugely expected to achieve that considering the way they had played in the tournament against tougher opponents such as Afghanistan, Scotland and Ireland.
But the Graeme Cremer captained side failed to chase a revised victory target of 230 calculated using the Duckworth Lewis method after some time was lost due to rains that started falling in the 48th over of the United Arab Emirates’ innings.
Streak said that they were a bit unlucky with the rains and everything went against them from there on.
“I am bitterly disappointed with losing that match and failing to qualify for the finals,” he said.
“Everyone is disappointed all the players were gutted, they stayed in the changing room for more than an hour after the match reflecting on that defeat. We feel we let ourselves down and we had the whole nation supporting us and we let everyone down.”
Streak reflected that in the match against United Arab Emirates they did not play to the best of their abilities especially with the ball.
“I think we didn’t bowl to the best of our abilities especially in the early parts, we missed out on a couple of opportunities that we should have taken and this game would have been different. The rain didn’t help us at all after the Duckworth Lewis system was used 10 overs were shaved off and we were asked to chase 230 which is a big total to try and get to in 40 overs. It’s easier to get 250 from 50 overs than to get 230 runs in 40 overs. And when we were batting it was also difficult the outfield was very slow and five or so balls that should have hit the boundary didn’t. Then in the dismissals of Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza we were a bit unlucky. Williams was a few inches from clearing the fielder while Raza was caught at the boundary, it easily could have been a six and the game would have panned out differently.”
United Arab Emirates had made 237 for 7 in 47.4 overs when rains arrived and they did not return to bat again as Zimbabwe were given 40 overs.
Zimbabwe fell three runs short of the victory target, as they required six runs from the last delivery.
Williams top scored for Zimbabwe with 80 runs, while Peter Moor had the second highest score of 39 off 61 balls, with Sikandar Raza making 34 off 26.
Brendan Taylor, who has been the tournament’s leading run scorer, fell for 15 runs and Zimbabwe failed to fully recover.
Streak said that the team will now focus on preparing for the T-20 World Cup qualifiers, whose finals will be played in Australia in two years’ time.