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Last Updated:  Friday, 28 February, 2003, 15:30 GMT

Zimbabwe beat plucky Dutch
Group A, Bulawayo: Zimbabwe 301-8 (50 overs) beat Holland 202-9 (50 overs) by 99 runs

Andy Blignaut
Blignaut helped push Zimbabwe's total out to a big score

Zimbabwe secured the win that keeps their Super Six hopes alive but were not entirely convincing against Holland, the whipping boys of Group A.

A score in excess of 300 and a 99-run verdict is a substantial win on paper.

But great heroics late on from Andy Blignaut and Heath Streak were required to push Zimbabwe past 300 after only Andy Flower impressed from the top-order with 71.

And an attack which lacked penetration allowed the Dutch to post their biggest score of the World Cup, beating the 156 they hit against Pakistan.

The match was notable for the absence of Henry Olonga, who was controversially looked over in favour of injury doubt Douglas Hondo.

Our first goal was to win it and to try and win it well
Zimbabwe's Heath Streak

Hondo was thought to be carrying a side strain, and he bowled only six overs though apparently without restraint. Olonga did figure, but his catch late in the day was taken as a substitute fielder.

Holland's decision to put Zimbabwe in to looked a wise one with the ball moving through the air early on.

Skipper Roland Lefebvre was rewarded for an impressive opening spell when Craig Wishart was well-caught by wicket-keeper Jeroen Smits for 21.

Flower was dropped by Daan van Bunge in the 13th over, but the heartbreak of that missed chance was soon compensated with the first of two Jan Kloppenburg strikes.

Mark Vermeulen, in the side for injured Grant Flower, was unconvincing in reaching 27 when he played onto his stumps.

Protesters at Bulawayo
A peaceful protest againt president Mugabe took place

Zimbabwe, three down after Guy Whittall fell to a blinding catch by Bas Zuiderent in the deep, were looking increasingly uncertain when Flower fell to reduce them to 165 for four.

But Blignaut, who last Tuesday hit Australia for a half-century, struck a blazing 58 off 38 balls before falling in the 45th over.

Streak carried on the good work, hitting six fours and a six and surviving until the last ball.

I think it was a pretty positive effort by us
Holland's Roland Lefebvre

Holland began their mountainous run-chase with a plan to go after Zimbabwe, and fortune favoured their brave approach.

Edgar Schiferli, who also opened the bowling, and Jan Kloppenburg swung for their lives and reaped the rewards.

Neither found the middle of their bats, but numerous top-edges over a stacked slip cordon contributed to a run-rate of five an over.

But both batsmen soon ran out of lives in the space of eight runs as Holland were reduced to 48 for two.

HAVE YOUR SAY

Zimbabwe looked in total control when Zuiderent and Tim de Leede fell in quick succession, but van Bunge and Lucas van Troost had other ideas.

Their 42-run stand in six whirlwind overs never threatened to get Holland out of the mire but succeeded in making Zimbabwe look pedestrian for a time.

And there was more to come as Lefebvre helped himself to 30 off 23 balls, playing as if victory was an achievable aim.

But it was never to be and four points was Zimbabwe's reward.

They head into Tuesday's match against Pakistan knowing a win is an absolute necessity if they are to progress to the next stage.

Holland may soon be on their way home, but not before facing Namibia on Monday in a match they will have genuine hopes of winning.


Zimbabwe: CB Wishart, A Flower, DD Ebrahim, GJ Whittall, T Taibu, AM Blignaut, DA Marillier, HH Streak (capt.), BA Murphy, Douglas T Hondo, HK Olonga.

Netherlands: JF Kloppenburg, E Schiferli, B Zuiderent, DLS van Bunge, TBM de Leede, LP van Troost, RH Scholte, HJC Mol, RP Lefebvre (capt), J Smits, JJ Esmeijer.




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's Telford Vice
"Zimbabwe are still in the race for the Super Sixes"



SEE ALSO
Dutch courage fails to stop Zimbabwe
28 Feb 03 |  Photo Galleries
Have Your Say on Zimbabwe
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say
Have Your Say on Holland
04 Jan 03 |  Have Your Say


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