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July 16, 2000
Andy Flower - we were never out of it
West Indies face an uphill battle to restore the confidence needed to fend off England in the remaining Cornhill Tests after being knocked out of the NatWest Series by Zimbabwe at Chester Le Street today.
Shaun Botterill / AllSport
After a thrilling match, which swung firmly in Zimbabwe's favour in the penultimate over after a record partnership of 183 between Murray Goodwin and Grant Flower to take them past the 288 target, West Indies coach Roger Harper admitted confidence among his players needed a boost.
"Since the Lord's Test we have lost a few games and this one was very damaging. It's difficult to judge the morale of the team at the moment.
"We will have to see what it's like in a couple of days. We have to pick ourselves up.
"It will be a real challenge for us and The Management team to really get the guys back on track and get them back where we think they need to be. It's important to get back to winning and raise the confidence of the team."
"Having got to 287 you would have thought it was a total you were capable of defending. It was very, very disappointing. I don't think we bowled as well as we should have.
"We didn't get the ball in the right place when it mattered and Zimbabwe batted well, especially that last partnership between Goodwin and Flower.
"It was the type of game where you had to see it through to the end - I don't think at any stage did we think it was won. With eight or nine overs to go we knew it was going to be very close."
Andy Flower - West Indies will come back hard in Test Match series
Captain Andy Flower said: "We never thought we were out of it because it was a very good pitch. I still thought it was possible when we needed 90 off 10 overs.
"We still had wickets in hand, at least one of the batsmen was going to bat through and they only had only three specialists bowlers.
"Grant Flower hit the ball cleanly, he was superb. We've never chased a total to win like that before.
"It was a blow for West Indies to lose defending a big total. The Test series is the most important thing for them and I'm sure they'll be focusing on that and they will come back hard."
Goodwin - I quit: there's no going back
England are tough proposition for us at Lord's
Man-of-the-match Goodwin, who made an unbeaten 112, has announced he will be quitting Zimbabwe cricket after this tour of England to return to Western Australia, where he began his professional cricketing career.
Despite Zimbabwe's success and the prospect of a win in the NatWest Series final against England on Saturday at Lord's, Goodwin says there is no going back on his decision.
"It's going to be tough against England in the final. I actually think England are playing the most consistent cricket of the tournament at the moment."
"The guys have been on at me about leaving international cricket but I've made my decision and I don't want to go back on it."