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Streak frustrated with team exit

Heath Streak was unhappy with the Nevil Road pitch after his side suffered a six wicket defeat against England on Sunday.
PTI | By Agence France-Presse, Bristol
UPDATED ON JUL 07, 2003 12:48 PM IST

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak was unhappy with the Nevil Road pitch after his side suffered a six wicket triangular series one-day international defeat against England here Sunday.

Zimbabwe were bowled out for 92 - their lowest one-day international total against England - and even though fast bowler Streak's four-wicket burst reduced the hosts to 25 for four they still got home with more than 32 overs to spare thanks to Andrew Flintoff's unbeaten 47.

"It was not a good one-day wicket," said Streak after a defeat which meant his side had no chance of making it through to Saturday's final at Lord's, now between England and South Africa.

"There was too much emphasis on the toss," added Streak whose team were sent into bat by England skipper Michael Vaughan. "There was a lot of moisture out there and early movement.

"It was tough even for their players who are used to swing and seam bowling. We don't have a lot of experience to call on."

But Streak, whose team play South Africa in their final triangular match at The Rose Bowl on Thursday, insisted he was planning to carry on as an international cricketer, despite the worsening political and economic situation in famine-affected Zimbabwe.

"I've no immediate plans to go anywhere," Streak, 29, insisted. "I'm still enjoying my cricket. It's tough but it's also very rewarding to see the youngsters coming through.

"You're always up against it as Zimbabwe. Not much has changed."

Vaughan, who won his first one-day series as captain when England beat Pakistan 2-1 earlier this season, praised the performances of Flintoff, who also took three for 13 and veteran fast bowler Darren Gough who led the attack with four for 26.

"He's been the linch pin of the team. He's been bowling very well and today was the ideal situation for him," 28-year-old Vaughan said.

"It was very reassuring to see him when we were 25 for four. The way Freddie batted was outstanding."

Flintoff, given a new role at number five by England, said: "I'm just trying to find my feet. I like to be aggressive (his innings 37 balls including two sixes and seven fours).

"But at times I've fallen between two stools," the Lancashire all-rounder added following criticism that he was too reliant on boundaries and not adept enough at taking singles.

Vaughan, assessing the contribution of his 32-year-old Yorkshire team-mate Gough, said: "During the one-day series he's been an invaluable member of the side."

Vaughan echoed Streak's criticism of the pitch, saying: "It was a very sporty wicket, not a fantastic wicket."

But nothing could detract in Vaughan's eyes from England's performance. "Today we had to win to get to the final, so there was pressure on us, and we had to get past a good Zimbabwe side to do it."

England face South Africa at Edgbaston on Tuesday in what is a day/night dress rehearsal for the final and Vaughan said: "We've got to take the momentum from this win into Tuesday and then, if we win there, the momentum from Tuesday into the final."

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