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|June 8, 1999||
Zimbabwe well-placed at the top
Zimbabwe's cricketers weren't complaining after spending a day in their Headingley dressing room watching the World Cup's first wash-out.
After New Zealand had the best of a rain-affected Sunday, a continual drizzle over Leeds on the match's reserve day, yesterday, allowed Zimbabwe to escape with one point, nudging it closer to a semi-final place when the game was finally abandoned.
"Obviously, New Zealand were in the better position overnight, but two quick wickets in the morning would have redressed the balance,'' Zimbabwe captain Alistair Cmpbell said.
"There was a willingness on both sides to get on the field but obviously the weather stymied us ... If you ask me about the one point, yes, I accept,'' he added, smiling.
The point sent Zimbabwe clear atop the Super Six standings with five points. Pakistan and South Africa have four points, while New Zealand's point gives it a total of three. Australia has two and India is last with none and is staring ominously at elimination.
New Zealand arrived at Headingley on Monday hopeful of forcing a vital win. On Sunday, Stephen Fleming's men bowled out Zimbabwe for 175 and then raced to 70 for three in 15 overs before bad light halted play.
But instead of forcing home its advantage, New Zealand sat in frustration watching the rain.
"The game just didn't go our way. It was out of our hands,'' fleming said. "From the position we were in, we had the better of the game, that makes it even more frustrating.''
New Zealand's next match is a tough encounter with World Cup favourite South Africa, at Edgbaston on Thursday, while Zimbabwe prepares for Australia on Wednesday at Lord's.
A wash-out in London would virtually guarantee Zimbabwe a semi-final berth, but Campbell said that was the last thing in his Players' minds as they look forward to playing for the first time at the headquarters of cricket.
"The guys want to get out there. It's the experience that counts,'' Campbell said. "Obviously no-one wants a game rained out at Lord's. We want to get out there, especially in our first appearance, and play.''
Left arm paceman Geoff Allott's three wickets in the last match made him the joint top wicket taker in a single World Cup tournament, with 18 scalps. India's Roger Binny, Craig McDermott of Australia and current Pakistan captain Wasim Akram also have taken 18.
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