The NatWest Series, 2000

England v Zimbabwe 2000

At Birmingham, July 18 (day/night). England won by 52 runs. Toss: England.

With Hussain deemed fit for action, Stewart stepped aside as captain, though not out of the limelight. As in their last game, England put on a confident, energetic and organised show. And there was none more organised, confident or energetic than Stewart who, at 37, remained as youthful as a butcher's pup. He stayed until four overs from the end for a 144-ball 101, scampering enthusiastically between the wickets. Hussain, whose form had faded before injuring his finger, was one of several to provide support, and England set a target of 263. Zimbabwe began purposefully and had reached 87 for one when Hick struck twice in successive balls in the 23rd over, which also saw Goodwin run out. That was it, really. Campbell aside, none of the middle order managed double figures under lighting rightly criticised as inadequate. A late dart from Streak, 45 from 52 balls, merely limited the margin of defeat; England could look ahead to Lord's with the psychological advantage. Johnson's announcement that he was leaving Zimbabwe for South Africa added to the tourists' gloom.

Man of the Match: A. J. Stewart. Attendance: 12,927; receipts £315,671.

© John Wisden & Co