World Cup qualifiers 2007, Lahore September 19, 2007

Zimbabwe's preparations "like clockwork"

Warren Carne

Zimbabwe women's preparations for the forthcoming World Cup qualifiers are "going like clockwork" according to their confident coach Emmanuel Dube. Zimbabwe are aiming for one of two spots up for grabs at the finals in Australia in 2009.

"Our preparations have been going on like clockwork from the onset," Dube told the ZC website. "The girls have played a lot of competitive matches against a number of boys' sides and given a good account of themselves. All that is needed now is to play one or two international friendly matches to fine-tune the team before departure in November.

"Cricket is fast evolving into more of a batting game with big scores winning the match at the end of the day. I have set a target of 250-plus runs for the batters, while at the same time asking the bowlers to restrict the opposition to less than 200 in all our three games if we are to stand a chance in Pakistan.

"And I think our last camp in Kwekwe, where we placed a lot of emphasis on solid batting at the top and in the middle, is beginning to bear fruit as the girls went past the 200-mark against a strong boys' under-19 side in Kwekwe and did the same against an imposing Eaglesvale Select on Sunday.

"On their part, the bowlers have, on numerous occasions, managed to bowl out teams for less than 200 but a lot of work still needs to be done between now and the moment of reckoning in Pakistan. It is also a plus that the girls are growing in confidence and self-believe with each outing.

"And after the success story in Kenya, the girls are more technically aware of what is expected off them on the international stage and are already raring to go."

Asked whether or not there was a particular team the Zimbabweans were targeting Dube said: "Targeting teams at such a big tournament is disastrous. Look at what happened to Australia [men]: they lost to Zimbabwe by five wickets.

"On our part we will go in and play each match as it comes, with as much tenacity. But, being at home, I think Pakistan will have a slight edge over the other teams because they know the conditions better." Zimbabwe will leave for Pakistan on November 15.

Squad Julia Chibhabha (capt) Yvonne Rainsford, Christabel Chatonzwa, Ruvarashe Chinyemba, Emily Jinjika, Chipo Kamuchetsa, Susan Kudzibatira, Precious Marange, Sharne Mayers, Thandolwenkosi Mlilo, Sipathisiwe Moyo, Sinikiwe Mpofu, Chipo Mugeri, Nonhlanhla Nyathi, Shareece Siali