1st ODI: Zimbabwe v England at Harare, 3 Oct 2001|
England cruise towards Zimbabwe total:
ENGLAND END 11-MATCH LOSING STREAKEngland have beaten Zimbabwe by five wickets in Harare to secure their first one-day victory this year. After bowling the hosts out for a meagre 206, England were indebted to their captain Nasser Hussain, whose innings of 73 put them on the road to victory.
Trescothick played a similar innings on this occasion to his previous one in the warm-up match, hitting a four through the slips before being caught at first slip, driving at Brent, to make England 13 for one.
Zimbabwe proved fallible in the field as Knight on 12 was dropped at square leg from a skyed pull off Hondo. The opening six-over spells of Zimbabwe’s first two bowlers told a story: Hondo 35 runs conceded, the accurate Brent 16. Nick Knight and Nasser Hussain were happy to collect runs from one end, until Brent came off and both ends proved amenable to England’s cause.
The 100 came up in the 21st over as the batsmen raced each other to fifty. Knight reached his half-century one ball before Hussain, and then Knight (51) checked a pull against Whittall to present mid-on with the simplest of catches; 111 for two and ‘Nelson’ had struck again.
Spinners Jeremy Snape and Mark Ramprakash did most of the later damage as the home batsmen contributed to their own downfall. Clearly morale is still low in the Zimbabwean camp.
Just after Flower reached his fifty in the 26th over, Carlisle (31) chipped a catch to mid-on off Andrew Flintoff with the score ominously on 111.
Flower soon followed, rushing down the pitch to Jeremy Snape to be comprehensively stumped for 59. Inexcusably his brother Grant, without scoring, emulated him in the same over, failing to get back despite a fumble by wicket-keeper Jamie Foster. Zimbabwe, 126 for five in the 31st over, had thrown away their advantage.
A skied attempted pull by Dion Ebrahim was missed by Foster, who was probably looking into the sun; two balls later Craig Wishart gave a difficult chance on the square-leg boundary that was also missed. However it was not long before Wishart (16) hit Mark Ramprakash, replacing Snape, down long-off’s throat; 145 for six.
Ebrahim and Dirk Viljoen then got a brisk partnership going, mixing good running with judicious hitting and adding 42 before Viljoen (19) was yorked hitting out at Ramprakash. Nkala (1) gave Ramprakash a third wicket, caught on the leg boundary, and then Ebrahim holed out at midwicket for 42, trying to pull Kirtley. When Brent (3) lofted a catch to mid-off, Zimbabwe were out for 206, another disappointing effort for their supporters.
Zimbabwe began quietly, with Alistair Campbell unable to get going. Marcus Trescothick missed him above his head at slip when he had 1, but the batsman did not make England pay; he had only 3 when he tried to hit Matthew Hoggard across the line and lost his middle stump.
Zimbabwe at last decided to put their best batsman in early, and Andy Flower came in at three. James Kirtley, bowling superbly, believed he had Guy Whittall caught at the wicket when 8, but umpire Ian Robinson disagreed; television did not appear to show a deflection. But Hoggard struck again when Whittall (21), perhaps undone by the slowness of the pitch, skyed a pull to be caught on the boundary; Zimbabwe 34 for two.
Flower, in a moment of recklessness against Ben Hollioake, was missed at 24 off a very difficult chance from a skyer to long leg, and on 41 a shy at the stumps would have run him out had it hit. Otherwise he kept the score moving but gave glimpses of fallibility not seen in the Tests against South Africa.
England perhaps went on the defensive too quickly after the first 15 overs when they immediately spread their field, removing the pressure and allowing the batsmen to take frequent singles.
England enter the first match after a run of 11 consecutive losses, and Zimbabwe after seven. Somebody will have to end that run today. Zimbabwe showed an increasing lack of self-belief as the series against South Africa developed, but they believe they can beat England. Or they say they can – how genuine that statement is remains to be seen.
England for their part no doubt believe they can beat Zimbabwe, as easier opposition than the more senior Test-playing countries. Zimbabwe have much more one-day experience – England played four debutants - but that does not count for much if confidence is low. Probably both sides await this match with a mixture of eagerness and trepidation. Victory will go to the team that first manages to establish a psychological advantage.
On another warm, cloudless day at Harare Sports Club, and Zimbabwe had no hesitation in batting when they won the toss. Again the pitch looked good but dry, and could crumble in the afternoon.
Guy Whittall, standing in for Heath Streak, who expects that his back will allow him to play again at the weekend, captained Zimbabwe again. They made three changes to the team that lost the final two matches against South Africa, bringing in Craig Wishart (recovered from illness), Dirk Viljoen and Douglas Hondo for Hamilton Masakadza (studies at school), Paul Strang and Travis Friend.
The teams were as follows:
Zimbabwe: Alistair Campbell, Dion Ebrahim, Stuart Carlisle, Craig Wishart, +Andy Flower, Grant Flower, *Guy Whittall, Dirk Viljoen, Gary Brent, Douglas Hondo.
England: Marcus Trescothick, Nick Knight, *Nasser Hussain, Mark, Ramprakash, Graham Thorpe, Andrew Flintoff, Ben Hollioake, Jeremy Snape, +Jamie Foster, James Kirtley, Matthew Hoggard.
Date-stamped : 03 Oct2001 - 18:52