Zimbabwe national team coach, Heath Streak has fired warning shots at other cricket nations after the Chevrons completed an historic 3-2 one-day international (ODI) series win over Sri Lanka in Hambantota on Monday.
By Munyaradzi Madzokere
“From a coach’s perspective this serves as a warning to other top cricket nations that we, as a country, are beginning to turn that corner. We have been working hard as a team since last year and we are starting to see the results of the work we are putting in. I still think there are bigger things that this team is capable of achieving,” he told Newsday Sport in an interview yesterday.
“I am proud that the team showed a lot of character and commitment to pull off such a win. It was really a major feat bouncing back from 2-1 down to win the series and I am very happy as a coach.
“We came here just wanting to play positive cricket, we wanted to be very competitive and we ended up winning the series. It was a remarkable series for us and to chase down 317 to win the first ODI was great and I think it also gave us belief.”
Streak was also pleased with the way they played against the Sri Lanka spin attack.
“We worked a lot on specifics and technique to be able to play against spin and it was great to see our batsmen doing well out there,” he said.
The victory was Zimbabwe’s first over a Test-playing nation away from home in 16 years in a bilateral competition and the first on tour since beating Kenya in 2009.
Known for struggling against spin, especially in subcontinent conditions, the Zimbabwe side did their homework this time around and played the sweep shot, as if they were the ones who invented it. Literally, the Chevron swept their way to a deserved series win.
Despite the emphatic win, Zimbabwe remain 11th on the ODI rankings behind Afghanistan, who were granted Test status recently, in 10th, while Sri Lanka are eighth.
Zimbabwe continue their tour of Sri Lanka with a one-off Test match, which begins on Friday in Colombo.
The Zimbabwe coach is optimistic that the team will replicate the ODI series performance.
“Sri Lanka are a very good side, highly successful in this format of the game. Our aim is to continue to play positive cricket in the Test match and hopefully we can produce another big result,” Streak said.
The other tries came through man of the match, Tinomukudza Chipfumbu, Kuda Makoni, Cole Onorati and Takudzwa Madzivanzira, while Munyeza managed two conversions.