Cricket coach hopeful of quarterfinal place

chigumbura_picJOHANNESBURG - Zimbabwe coach Alan Butcher last week expressed satisfaction his team was coming into form at the right time ahead of the International cricket World Cup. (Pictured: Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura (facing camera)

Butcher, who is confident of leading the team to the quarterfinals of the ICCs flagship event, said the team would do well if they maintained their confidence. Zimbabwe recorded a morale boosting victory over The Netherlands whom they defeated by 115 runs at Dubai Sports City Stadium last Thursday.

The victory was Zimbabwe s second after beating Ireland by six wickets last Sunday as the southern Africans stepped up preparations for the World Cup. The victories signaled a change of fortunes for a Zimbabwe team that was lost a One Day series in Bangladesh last December.? Butcher said his team was ready to rediscover its form as it sets its sights on a quarterfinal place.

We have to play to our plans and give our best in the tournament. We need to execute our plans well. We need to have self-belief to perform well in the World Cup, Butcher said from Dubai , United Arab Emirates. His captain, Elton Chigumbura, hailed the productive training camp in Dubai and the input of West Indies great Brian Lara, who has been used as a batting consultant.?

If we can play our best cricket, then we can expect to do well in the tournament, the confident skipper said. The main concern over Zimbabwes squad is the absence of a quick bowler, and its lack of experience on Indian pitches.? Nonetheless, Butcher said the recent tour of Bangladesh, which provides similar surfaces to India, would stand his team in good stead, while he expected his selected medium-pacers to make up for the lack of a pace bowler in prevailing conditions.?

Zimbabwe ‘s first match in the World Cup is against three-time defending champions Australia at Ahmedabad , India on February 21.?The team is in a tough group alongside The Aussies, New Zealand , Sri Lanka and Ireland .

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