Streak banks on home advantage

HARARE - Rivals Matabeleland Tuskers and Mashonaland Eagles clash in the Coca Cola Pro50 Championship final at Queens Sports Club tomorrow with the hosts’ coach, Heath Streak, pinning hopes on home support.

Tuskers finished the round robin stage in pole position with 24 points from eight matches to book a place in tomorrow’s final against title holders Eagles.

Harare-based Eagles secured their final berth with 19 points from the same number of games.

Now, Tuskers’ coach Streak believes tomorrow’s final at Queens gives the Bulawayo side a slight edge in the battle for the country’s premier limited overs competition.

“The Eagles have always enjoyed home support with most of the decisive games played at Harare Sports Club and for a change it’s nice to have the final here at home,” Streak told the Daily News yesterday.

“Hopefully, the home support will come in handy as we have set our sights on bagging the trophy.”

The former national side captain was also upbeat about his team’s all-round ability going into the match.

“Our bowlers are on fire, we have got some good depth in batting where we can bat further down the order but the key is to make it right with the bat, ball and fielding come Saturday.”

Streak’s opposite number, Steve Mangongo, said: “Tuskers have beaten us twice this season, which makes them favourites.

“The boys did well to be in the final where they have an opportunity to defend their title. People only remember the winners and not the losers, so we have to fight through the underdogs tag and come out victorious.”

Mangongo also showed faith in his bowling attack, urging the batting line-up to rise to the occasion.
“Tuskers have got some decent bowlers but we got a lot of confidence in our bowlers too and it is up to the batsmen to come to the party by scoring big,” he said.

“It has been fits and starts in terms of the batting but we are beginning to see the results, the boys have got what it takes to deliver the victory if they put into practice what they have been doing in the nets.”

Mangongo called on his players to win the tournament in honour of the franchise’s late coach Kevin Curran, who died suddenly aged 53 after collapsing while jogging in Mutare last October.

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