Thursday 6 November 2003
Last Update 6 November 2003 12:00 am
HARARE, 6 November 2003 — Skipper Heath Streak smashed a maiden Test century as underdogs Zimbabwe seized control of the first Test against the West Indies here yesterday.
At stumps on the second day, the West Indies reached 11-0 in reply to the home side’s 507 for nine declared.
Having started the day on 16, Streak went on to make 127 not out and shared an eighth wicket partnership of 168, a national record, with fellow fast bowler Andy Blignaut.
Vasbert Drakes broke the partnership with Chris Gayle taking the catch leaving Blignaut nine runs short of a deserved century.
Fidel Edwards finished with the best figures of 5-133 from 34.3 overs.
When bad light stopped play for the day, the tourists had reached 11 for no wicket in reply. Windies opening batsmen Gayle and Wavell Hinds safely negotiated 2.4 overs before bad light brought an early close to the day’s play.
At tea, Zimbabwe had reached 463-7 as the West Indies toiled.
Until that stage they had taken only the wicket of Tatenda Taibu, who dragged a ball from Edwards on to his stumps after moving his overnight 75 up to 83. Streak reached his century from 219 balls, certainly slower than might have been expected from such a noted hitter.
But he did strike some dazzling boundaries, especially through the covers. He was, however, dropped by Hinds when on 85.
Big-hitting Blignaut began his innings as if this was a one-day international, calmed down for a period, and then just before the tea break began to hit out again as the danger of a low score passed. Zimbabwe also reached their fifth highest score since joining the Test nations elite 12 years ago.
Fleming Criticized for Scheduling Complaints
In Cuttack, India, the Indian cricket board has hit back at complaints from New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming about the scheduling of the tri-series tournament.
Fleming had complained that New Zealand and Australia have had to play day matches against each other while facing the hosts on slow turning pitches in day-night games.
But the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said the itinerary, which involves traveling around the vast country, was approved by both the Australian and New Zealand boards.
“Once they (the boards) confirmed the schedule, it is as good as accepted,” BCCI secretary Karunakaran Nair told Reuters yesterday.
“Some of our centers have no floodlights but we have to rotate the matches as per our policy. We don’t really appreciate the New Zealand captain going to the media instead of coming to us directly or conveying his views through his board.”
After New Zealand’s two-wicket defeat by the world champions in Pune on Monday, Fleming was quoted in the domestic media as saying: “We and Australia seem to be playing two different tournaments.”
New Zealand have to beat India in the day-night match on Thursday to maintain their hopes of reaching the Nov. 18 final against Australia, who top the table with 18 points.
India have eight points and New Zealand four with three games left, two of them against each other.
New Zealand lost two successive matches to Australia after the top order collapsed in seam-friendly conditions batting first.
India’s stand-in captain Rahul Dravid was undecided about his bowling line-up for the day-night game after experienced leg spinner Anil Kumble was forced to pull out of the match following his father’s death.