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The Electronic Telegraph 3rd Super Six Match: New Zealand v Zimbabwe
Peter Deeley - 6 June 1999

Allott ties record but rain makes Kiwis wait

New Zealand (70-3) need a further 106 runs from 35 overs to beat Zimbabwe (175)

New Zealand fast bowler Geoff Allott added to his burgeoning reputation with three more wickets here yesterday to take his haul of World Cup wickets to 18, equalling the competition record.

But the weather had the last word and another 10.1 overs are needed when the game resumes today before a result can be achieved. According to Duckworth/Lewis, New Zealand need another five runs by that point, the 25th over, to be in the ascendancy.

The likes of Lance Klusener and Glenn McGrath may have caught the public's imagination in recent weeks but Allott has now taken four wickets more than the South African and five more than the Australian in the same number of games, six.

Three bowlers have finished with 18 wickets in World Cup competition - India's Roger Binney in eight games in 1983, Australia's Craig McDermott (eight games) in 1987 and Pakistan's Wasim Akram (10 games) in 1992 - but the New Zealand left-armer still has a minimum of two matches to play.

Allott registered 91mph on the speed gun in his opening spell as he bowled Neil Johnson via an inside edge and then got one to Andy Flower to fly off a length. That followed Grant Flower's run-out as early as the third over.

Zimbabwe could point to the second rain break, lasting just over an hour, as the source of their batting downfall. Murray Goodwin and Alistair Campbell patiently rescued them from the bleak start of 45 for three, surviving one interruption of an 1.75 hours.

The pair took the total to 136 by the 36th over before the rain again sent the players scurrying for shelter. By that time Goodwin had reached his half-century off 83 balls, including five boundaries.

But within three balls of the restart Goodwin was on his way back, the victim of the thinnest of edges to wicketkeeper Adam Parore, who was standing up to Chris Harris.

That ended a stand of 91 in 26 overs and from then on it was all downhill for Zimbabwe as seven wickets crashed for a meagre 39 runs.

Most were the result of the batsmen's need to push the score along. Campbell's 40 had taken him 101 balls and he set the style when he lashed out at Gavin Larsen and skied to mid-on.

There was little hint of further resistance. Allott returned to claim his third wicket with the last ball of his 10 overs and Chris Cairns removed the last two Zimbabwe batsmen in the final over.

New Zealand must have been reading the weather forecast, for despite the heavy rain-threatening clouds they set out at 6pm as if determined to win in one day. Johnson, who has played an important part in Zimbabwe's success, and Heath Streak 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, with 35 off 36 balls, was leg before to Guy Whittall and at the other end Astle was brilliantly picked up low at extra cover by Streak off Henry Olonga. When McMillan fell - another lbw victim to Streak - caution was New Zealand's watchword until bad light ended play.

7 June 1999

Washout works in Zimbabwe's favour

Peter Deeley

New Zealand (70-3) drew with Zimbabwe (175)

One point from this rain-ruined game takes Zimbabwe, the surprise side of the World Cup, clear at the top of the Super Sixes table. But New Zealand, who were within an ace of victory, face an uphill task to reach the semi-finals stage.

With 10 more overs to be bowled before a result could be achieved on the first day by the Duckworth/Lewis method, New Zealand required only six runs to take the match.

But the outcome was by no means certain. If New Zealand lost another wicket by the time 25 overs were reached, then Zimbabwe would hold the upper hand.

With rain falling from mid-morning the umpires finally called the match off at 4.30pm, making it the first to be wiped out by the weather in this World Cup.

Because this was theoretically ``no contest'', the run-rates are expunged and do not count in the overall calculations. Nor was there a man-of-the-match award.

Zimbabwe captain Alistair Campbell admitted: ``It wasn't a bad result for us. New Zealand were in a better position overnight.

``Now we almost have one hand on a semi-final place. We need one more win and we'll be looking for it on Wednesday when we take on Australia in our first appearance at Lord's. It's a great feeling for Zimbabwe cricket being top of the table. We never thought we would be in this position.''

New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming was ``disappointed and frustrated''. He said: ``We had almost done enough to take the points. The outcome is much less satisfactory for us than Zimbabwe. We had the better of the game - but we aren't out of the running yet.''

New Zealand's Geoff Allott, the leading wicket-taker in the competition with 18, which equals the record, said he was finding English conditions exactly to his liking. ``This is my first visit and I'm loving it. I wouldn't mind a season playing here with a county.''

A double stress fracture two seasons ago almost put Allott out of the game and he has remoulded his bowling action to good effect.

``I've still got a lot to learn,'' he admitted. ``At the moment I'm thriving on the confidence of success. I'm going out there all the time expecting to get early wickets.''

Source: The Electronic Telegraph
Editorial comments can be sent to The Electronic Telegraph at et@telegraph.co.uk