June 19, 2000

Gloucestershire v Zimbabweans, Day 4

Zimbabwe emphasised their fast-improving form on their tour of England by inflicting a record defeat on Gloucestershire in the Vodafone Challenge match at Gloucester.

The home side, who resumed on 98-4, were restricted to 135-9 in their second innings, which was effectively all out in the absence of injured captain Tim Hancock.

It meant a 524-run reverse for Gloucestershire, which was comfortably worse than their previous heaviest defeat of 470 runs by Sussex at Hove in 1913.

Pace bowler Pommie Mbangwa ensured a quick finish on the final morning. He claimed four of the last five wickets to fall and ended with an outstanding return of 5-23 from 15.5 overs.

He began by removing Michael Cawdron for 19, lbw as he failed to get sufficiently forward.

Then he dismissed Jack Russell for 27, as the former England wickekeeper gloved a catch to Alistair Campbell, who had taken over behind the stumps from Andy Flower.

The last three wickets added just seven runs as Mbangwa removed Jon Lewis and Tom Cotterell, both caught behind by Campbell, and Bryan Strang dismissed Martyn Ball, snapped up at fourth slip by Trevor Gripper.

Zimbabwe batsman Murray Goodwin scopped the £500 man of the match award on offer from the sponsors for his career-best 194 in the first innings.

The tourists now move on to play British Univeristies in a three-day match that starts at Cambridge on Wednesday.

And captain Andy Flower was pleased with his side's clinical hammering of a below-strength Gloucestershire side.

He said: "It was important that our batsmen spent some time out in the middle, as was the case in this game.

"And it was important that we carry on winning these games. We had a rough start to the tour, so it is good to get some solid wins under our belt."

Russell, who took over as Gloucestershire's captain after Hancock fractured a knuckle on his left hand on Saturday, admitted it had been a tough lesson for the county's youthful side.

"It was a great opportunity for a lot of our guys to push for a first team place in the championship, but that has not happened," he said.

"But we need not feel too disappointed. The guys must learn from this and take note of how the opposition went about things. Zimbabwe are a disciplined side and their bowlers showed what could be achieved by getting the ball in the right areas."

Gloucestershire can now concentrate on Wednesday's NatWest Trophy third round tie against Worcestershire at New Road, Worcester, where they will begin their defence of the title they won by beating Somerset at Lord's last August.

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