History points to Pakistan

SHARJAH April 9. Pakistan will have history firmly on its side in the Sharjah Cup cricket final tomorrow, having not lost a one-dayer to Zimbabwe for four-and-a-half years.

Pakistan has won the last 12 decisive encounters and only lost twice in 31 games against the Zimbabweans.

The sides met in the World Cup last month but rain washed out the game, leading to Zimbabwe surprisingly reaching the second round ahead of Pakistan and England.

Both sides have since seen a major change in personnel, with Zimbabwe losing key batsman Andy Flower through retirement.

``The tournament has been a learning process for us,'' captain Heath Streak said. ``A victory in the final will certainly the boost the morale of players ahead of the our tour of England later this month.''

Grant Flower, Andy's brother and now the team's leading batsman, crossed the 6,000-run mark in one-dayers during the event. ``We have not been in many finals of late, but I feel we have it in us to win this one,'' Flower said.

New skipper Rashid Latif said: ``Give us another six to eight months, we will build a very strong team.''

Allrounder Abdur Razzaq and Younis Khan, rested against Kenya, are set to return tomorrow.