Zimbabwe must improve, says Marsh

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The Independent Online

The Zimbabwe coach Geoff Marsh stressed the need for improvement ahead of the second Test against England which starts on Thursday at Chester-le-Street.

After watching his side play out a draw against Middlesex at Shenley, a match in which several Zimbabwean batsmen made good scores including Stuart Carlisle with 137, Marsh was hoping those positives could be taken into the inaugural Test at Durham's headquarters which they need to win to square the series.

He said: "Our form going into the first Test match was really good and we were disappointing at Lord's and didn't handle the swing bowling that well, but we've sat down as a team and spoken about it.

"We're one down in the series with one Test match to go and we're really looking forward to going up there and improving our performance in all areas. We've got to bowl straighter as we bowled that little bit too wide at Lord's and we need some of our batsmen to go on from good starts."

Yesterday's highlight was a century in 80 balls from Middlesex's Owais Shah, who struck 13 fours and four sixes for his highest score of the season as the hosts declared their second innings on 222 for 2, setting the visitors 338 from a minimum of 68 overs.

The tourists never really threatened to reach that target following a tentative start to the innings as the Middlesex captain Andrew Strauss employed a defensive field aided by tight early bowling from Simon Cook and Tim Bloomfield. Zimbabwe closed on 221 for 5, the opener Dion Ebrahim hitting the top score of 64.