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Top Performer of Day 1 - 2nd Test

Heath Streak
Heath Hilton Streak

Born:16 March 1974, Bulawayo
Major Teams:Matabeleland, Hampshire, Zimbabwe
Known As:Heath Streak
Batting Style:Right Hand Bat
Bowling Style:Right Arm Fast Medium

Match Stats - Bowling
2nd Test
India in Zimbabwe
India v Zimbabwe
[ Scorecard | Reports ]
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The captain is not always the best player in the team. However, in international cricket he is almost always a leader of men. Or at least he should be. Heath Streak gave a fine demonstration of the need for a captain to rise to the occasion on the first day of the second Test between India and Zimbabwe. Coming into the first Test 0-1 down, the Zimbabweans desperately needed to pull one back. Dislodging the much feared Indian middle order of VVS Laxman, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly, Streak stole the initiative away from the visitors.

The day began badly for the Zimbabwe captain, when he lost the toss to his counterpart. Ganguly elected to bat first and that seemed to be a good decision. Shiv Sunder Das batted with aplomb, ticking away the runs at regular intervals. After trapping debutant Hemang Badani plumb in front Brighton Watambwa limped off the field with a hamstring strain. Everything now depended on Streak. He was the senior fast bowler, he was the captain and he had to deliver when needed.

In the just the 12th over of the game, Streak stopped an in form Laxman dead in his tracks. Having sprinted to 15 off just 16 balls including three hits to the fence, Laxman looked in ominously good touch. Sensing this, Streak pitched one perfectly outside the off and baited Laxman. The Hyderabadi stylist fell for the trap hook, line and sinker and edged the ball to the slip cordon.

The biggest Indian wicket undoubtedly is that of Tendulkar. Streak knew that very well, and snuffed out the Indian star first thing after the lunch interval. Pushing one awkwardly down the leg side, Streak got Tendulkar in a tangle of sorts and celebrated as the ball trickled off the thigh pad on to the stumps.

Two wickets in the bag and Streak was not done yet. The icing on the cake was the wicket of the Indian captain. Just when it looked like Ganguly might be coming out of a slump, Streak got one to lift on him outside the off stump and induced the edge to third slip. That was the second time in two innings Streak had accounted for his opposite number.

Three wickets for Streak, and not just any three wickets. His analysis when he dismissed Ganguly was an impressive 13-2-42-3. With final figures of 3/69 off 20 overs, Streak had knocked out the Indians for just 237 in the first innings. What more could Zimbabwe ask of their skipper?

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