Zim in unfamiliar territory

HARARE - All-rounder Sean Williams does not remember a time when Zimbabwe were one match away from clinching an ODI series and wants to see the side come out guns blazing in today’s decider against New Zealand.

Now 28, Williams was barely 14 the last time Zimbabwe enjoyed a series win over a major cricketing nation other than Bangladesh way back in January 2001.

Back then a Heath Steak-led side emerged 2-1 winners over the Black Caps in New Zealand.

A year before that was the last time Zimbabwe enjoyed a home series win over the same opponents and that history to many of the current crop of players is as good as oral tradition.

But in today’s decider at Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe have a chance to end those years of wait and hopefully cheer up the local fans who have suffered for many years.

Williams knows it will need every player to put hands on deck if Zimbabwe is to bounce back from Tuesday’s morale-sapping 10-wicket loss to New Zealand in the second ODI and rediscover the form that saw them destroy the same opponent in the first match.

“There is nothing to lose. We just have to go out there and play like it’s our last game. Not that we have to be reckless but we have to be aggressive,” he said.

“We haven’t been this close to winning a series in a long time so have to be competitive. We have to score enough runs on the board in our last match.

“We lost wickets at regular intervals and we didn’t have enough runs on the board. Without runs we were going to lose.

“Our bowling wasn’t spot-on either. We struggled with the short stuff and we changed our batting order which in the end all those small things add up.”

The left-handed all-rounder says going into Tuesday’s game, it was always going to be difficult to beat the Black Caps.

“Remember New Zealand are a big team. They made it into the finals of the World Cup. They were under a lot of pressure from the international world after losing to us in the first ODI,” he said.

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