‘You made it a special day’

Heath Streak
I HAVE had 44 birthdays and obviously don’t remember the first two or three, but this 109-run win over Ireland made this day rank up there as one of the best birthdays.

The players woke up every early (on Friday) morning and sent their birthday wishes on our WhatsApp group.

I think the team’s statistician was the first one and then Brendon Taylor promised to bring me the stumps after we win the game. And he did, which was nice!

Overally, it was a great win, not just for me and the boys, but for the nation who have been backing us from day one. However, it was kind of a nerve-wracking experience, particularly the first half of the game.

I was a bit disappointed with the batting department; we gave away way too many soft dismissals and are yet to truly perform to the best of our abilities.

There is more to come from the guys in that regard.

I would be remiss if I did not admit that I was relieved when we did manage to reach 210 and all credit to Tendai Chisoro and Raza (Butt) that partnership really helped us pass the 200 mark.

The bowling department was outstanding once again.

At the innings break I told the boys that we have done this against Hong Kong, Afghanistan and Scotland and can surely do it again. The trick is to back yourself and do your best.

During that match-winning performance a couple of plays stood out for me; namely that catch by Blessing Muzarabani, Brendon Taylor’s stumping, and the run-out by Sikandar Raza Butt. Those really made my day.

As for now, the job is half done; we still have two more games to play. We are not happy just to win a game or two and qualify; I want to finish the tournament unbeaten and get some momentum going for the team.

That is the message I have told the boys: I want wins in both our remaining games.

We have a very big and tough game against West Indies and while I cannot go into the nitty-gritties of our game plan, the main objective will be to win.

To the fans, I just want thank you for the support, both here in Harare and in Bulawayo.

It has been fantastic playing in front of the home crowd. It lifts us hearing your screams, shouts and songs in support.

Hopefully on Monday you will come early, get a vibe going and support us. The team has said that they are really spurred on when the crowd backs them.

Zimbabwe men’s national cricket team head coach Heath Streak made these remarks in an interview with The Sunday Mail Deputy Sports Editor Tinashe Kusema in Harare on March 16, 2018

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