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3rd Super Six Match: New Zealand v Zimbabwe
Sa'adi Thawfeeq - 7 June 1999

Prospects of play look grim

Leeds, Monday - Cold grey skies and rain greeted Zimbabwe and New Zealand when they arrived at Headingley today to resume their rain-affected World Cup Super Six match.

The prospects of play for the day looked grim with the forecast being for heavy and thundery showers. New Zealand finished yesterday's rain-interrupted day at 70 for 3 off 15 overs chasing Zimbabwe's total of 175.

Another 10.1 overs are needed today before a result can be achieved. According to the Duckworth/Lewis, New Zealand need another five runs by that point, the 25th over, to be in the ascendancy.

New Zealand will be hoping for a start because they are well placed at the moment to win the match and collect a vital two points to be in contention for a place in the semi-finals. New Zealand carried only two points from the first round coming into the Super Six.

Zimbabwe on the other hand will virtually make it to the semi-finals if the match is ruled out as a no-result and both teams share the two points. That will give Zimbabwe five points and place them on top of the Super Six table ahead of South Africa and Pakistan, who have also played three matches each.

Spearheaded by left-arm fast bowler Geoff Allott, the Kiwis did extremely well to bowl out Zimbabwe for 175 yesterday on a slow pitch. Lance Klusener and Glenn McGrath may have caught the public's imagination in recent weeks but Allott added to his burgeoning reputation with three more wickets to take his haul of World Cup wickets to 18, equalling the competition record.

Three bowlers have finished with 18 wickets in the World Cup competitions - India's Roger Binny in eight games in 1983, Australia's Craig McDermott (also eight games) in 1987 and Pakistan's Wasim Akram (10 games) in 1992. Allott has a good chance to go past all three bowlers because he still has a minimum of two matches to play in the Super Six.

He registered 91 mph on the speed gun in his opening spell during which he claimed the wickets of Zimbabwe's leading run-getter in the tournament Neil Johnson, and also Andy Flower.

Zimbabwe's innings was badly hit by the weather. Their batsmen had to come back and start all over again on two occasions (47/3 after 10.4 overs, and 134 for 3 after 36 overs) which saw them lose whatever momentum they had in their innings.

Apart from Murray Goodwin who made 57 off 90 balls (6 fours) and skipper Alistair Campbell, 40 off 101 balls (2 fours), none of their batsmen were able to properly settle down to play a worthy knock.

New Zealand set out as they were determined to win in one day. Johnson and Heath Streak both went for 21 in their first three overs and New Zealand were already past the fifty mark by the seventh over with Matthew Horne and Nathan Astle regularly blasting fours over the top.

Then Horne 35 off as many balls was leg before to Guy Whittall and Astle was brilliantly picked up by a diving Streak at extra cover. When Brian McMillan fell lbw to Streak, New Zealand had lost three wickets for seven runs off 21 balls. Skipper Stephen Fleming and Roger Twose held out till bad light ended play.

Source: The Daily News