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We blew it, says Streak

Heath Streak said his team had thrown away the chance of victory after the West Indies won the second and final Test by 128 runs on Sunday to take the series 1-0.

india Updated: Nov 16, 2003 21:58 IST

Zimbabwe captain Heath Streak said his team had thrown away the chance of victory after the West Indies won the second and final Test by 128 runs here on Sunday to take the series 1-0.

The first Test in Harare last week ended in a draw.

Zimbabwe's batting collapsed on Saturday to leave them 90-9 overnight and only 35 minutes play was needed on the final morning to wrap up the match.

Streak said: "We certainly had a chance and we missed it. But we are a young side and will learn a lot from this."

West Indies skipper Brian Lara, who picked up the man of the match award after his 191 runs, praised Zimbabwe's performance.

"A lot of people will say that Zimbabwe are one of the minnows of world cricket," said Lara.

"But I thought the 11 guys who played 10 days of Test cricket against us were very determined."

Zimbabwe went into Sunday requiring an impossible 143 runs to win with just one wicket remaining.

Streak and last man Blessing Mahwire survived seven overs before Mahwire was bowled by Mervyn Dillon.

When West Indies scored 481 runs in their first innings the match was effectively put out of Zimbabwe's reach, even though they managed to get 377 in reply, a deficit of 104.

Zimbabwe's Mark Vermeulen and Craig Wishart scored 118 and 96 respectively. But it was all not quite enough.

Even though West Indies surprisingly slumped to 128 all out in their second innings, it left Zimbabwe with far much to do.

And poor batting, on a surface which held up well, accounted for their dismal response.

Wickets fell in rapid succession and Zimbabwe did what they do too often - collapse in the face of even a modest target.

Streak tried to achieve a decent personal score, which he did with 33 not out, and also protect Mahwire as much as possible. But it worked for only a short period of the morning.

Lara, who with 8,625 runs to his name is now the highest scoring West Indies batsman, surpassing Viv Richards, was basking in a rare away win.

"We're all very pleased to have won our first test match away from home for some time.

"We don't do it very often. It was also my first victory away from home as captain. We didn't bat well in our second innings but it was enough."

Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh refused to blame the state of the pitch for his side's batting collapse.

"I can only speak for Zimbabwe but it was simply rank bad batting," he said.

West Indies celebrate their victory with a visit to a wildlife park while Zimbabwe head for the nets for some serious coaching and training in preparation for the upcoming five-match one-day series.

First Published: Nov 16, 2003 21:58 IST