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by Zahid Newaz in Dhaka
21 October 1998

England earned a massive 118 runs victory over Zimbabwe in a Wills Cup practice match at the Savar BKSP ground, some 35 kilometres from capital Dhaka on Wednesday.

The match looked different and comical as all the members of the two teams took to the field wearing shorts. And there was no toss either and the two teams amicably decided who will bat first.

Zimbabwe is also lucky enough that the match will not be recorded as a one-day international.

The newly built ground at the BKSP looked absolutely fine and it is the first time any test playing country played there.

Batting first, England were all out for 197 runs in 43.5 overs. Earlier, the match was reduced to 45 overs because of delayed start by half an hour due to wet condition of field.

England lost three quick wickets - that of Alistair Brown, Graeme Hick and Neil Fairbrother - for 49 runs. Both Brown and Hick fell with team score at 29.

But Graham Lloyd and captain Adam Hollioake put the England innings in order.

Hollioake, who played only 19 one-day matches, showed a brilliant all-round performance top scoring with 46 runs off 53 balls and later claiming 3 wickets for 7 runs.

The England captain hit four boundaries and a huge six over mid-on against Zimbabwean leg-spinner Paul Strang in the 34th over.

Graham Lloyd, son of England coach David Lloyd, played another valuable innings of 39 runs off 46 deliveries that included four hits across the rope and a sixer.

Opener Nick Knight and wicket-keeper Jack Russell made 21 runs each.

Zimbabwe's main strike bowler Heath Streak captured three wickets giving away 23 runs in 7 overs, including one maiden. Spinner Paul Strang took two wickets for 27 runs in 7 overs.

Zimbabweans showed excellent fielding performance in the match.

In reply, Zimbabwe were bundled out for a paltry 79 runs in 33.3 overs as all their top order returned to the pavilion playing irresponsibly.

Zimbabwe lost their first five batsmen with only 30 runs on board in 15 overs.

Gavin Rennie scored team highest 14 runs off 23 balls while Craig Wishart made 12 runs off 45 balls.

Like Hollioake, opening bowler Peter Martin also picked up 3 wickets conceding only 7 runs in 6 overs, including two maidens. Spinner Mark Elham took two wickets for 6 runs.

England skipper Adam Hollioake was happy with the huge 118-run win, but not totally satisfied with the over all performance of his side.

``There were some mistakes in our innings... We should have taken the score to at least 230 runs,'' he said after the match.

However, the England one-day captain is optimistic that they would correct the mistakes before they clash with South Africa in the first quarter-final of the Wills International Cup on October 25 (Sunday).

Before they meet South Africa, England will play another practice match against Bangladesh at the same BKSP ground, described by Hollioake as excellent and its crowd also very good.

``We're taking the match against Bangladesh seriously,'' the English skipper said. ``We also consider Bangladesh as (strong) like Zimbabwe... its their home ground and they know about wicket and weather.''

As the weather was bright all through the day Wednesday after overnight rainfall and cloudy sky for last several days, a smiling Hollioake told the newsmen that Bangladesh's weather was better than his country, England.

Zimbabwean skipper Alistair Campbell was satisfied about bowling and fielding of his side, but not with batting as they were dismissed for a paltry 79.

``The pitch is not favourable, but we should have made more runs,'' he said adding ``we needed innings like Hollioake and Lloyd.''

``However, I'm not disappointed over the performance of our side,'' Campbell said.

He expressed optimism that they would do their best in the inaugural match (pre-quarter final) of the Wills International Cup on Saturday.

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