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Tuesday, May 25, 1999 Published at 08:03 GMT 09:03 UK


Stewart aims for revenge

Alec Stewart faced just one ball last Saturday

England can qualify for the second round of the World Cup on Tuesday, but only if captain Alec Stewart gains a first win in his sixth start against Zimbabwe.

The winner of the match at Trent Bridge will go forward to the Super Six while the loser battles with Sri Lanka and India for the remaining qualification place.

The England skipper's first outing against Zimbabwe resulted in a nine-run loss at Albury in 1992.

He followed that with a 13-run loss in Sydney in '94, a two wicket defeat at Bulawayo in '96 and successive losses in Harare in January '97.

"You can't change what's happened. It's all in the past," he said of this unfortunate record.


The BBC's Pat Murphy: "England have a selection dilemma"
"They have beaten us five times, now we've got to beat them."

The captain is clearly hoping to do better than the 122-run against South Africa at the weekend but is making no snap decisions.

"Obviously, we are looking to improve on Saturday's performance, but the selection will have nothing to do with what happened in that match. We'll see what the wicket is like," he explained.

Zimbabwe confidence

Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell says his under-rated team is capable of defeating England and advancing to the second stage of a World Cup for the first time.

His side started the tournament with a five-wicket win in an all-African clash with Kenya and then upset India in a shock three-run win at Leicester last Wednesday.

But they also suffered a first defeat at the weekend to defending champions Sri Lanka.

"Thing have certainly livened up in the group after the weekend results and the next game against England is the big crunch game," Campbell said.

"England need to win this one so they are going to come at us with all guns blazing," he said.

"They will realize that the match against us is a `must win' game and they'll be up for it."

The England management have hired a sports psychologist to help the players deal with Saturday's defeat but Campbell believes his team have the edge in this department.

"We are not scared of them and the days of us just turning up to make up the numbers and hoping not to lose too badly are definitely a thing of the past," he said.

Recent results such as Test series victories over Pakistan and India during the past months tend to prove his point.

"I keep hearing on television that any one of the top eight sides could win the World Cup. But there is a ninth - and that's us," warned coach Dave Houghton.





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