Cricket: World Cup - Strang feels the pinch

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The Independent Online
IN A final throw of the dice, Zimbabwe will ditch Paul Strang as a pinch-hitter for today's World Cup Group A match against South Africa.

After early victories over Kenya and India, defeats by Sri Lanka and England mean Zimbabwe face the daunting prospect of having to overcome the unbeaten favourites to have any chance of qualifying for the Super Six second stage.

"Losing becomes a habit," the Zimbabwe coach, Dave Houghton, said. "Even if you think these players are going to do it, they have lost two games in a row and a bit of confidence has gone. We might as well get some new faces in and I think the captain [Alistair Campbell] is keen on changing it a bit too."

Dispensing with Strang at No 3 in the batting order is one change but also the leg-spinner Adam Huckle and the off-spinner Andy Whittall may come into the side, shifting the balance of the attack away from seam.