Hobart, Mar 6: Zimbabwe's Brendan Taylor has said winning against Ireland is "non-negotiable" for his side if they are to qualify for the World Cup quarter-finals.
The Africans play the Irish, a non-Test side, in Hobart tomorrow in what is an important Pool B clash for both sides. Ireland are currently fifth in the seven-strong pool, with two wins from three games giving them a total of four points.
By contrast Zimbabwe are sixth, with just one win, and a hard-fought one at that over the amateurs from the UAE, in four games and a total of two points.
Only the top four teams in each of the two pools will reach the last eight. Asked about the importance of this weekend's match, Taylor said today:
"That's non-negotiable for us. "We want to turn up tomorrow and we want to win. We want to win convincingly and we feel we're good enough to do that."
Zimbabwe's most recent defeat, a 20-run reverse against Pakistan, was especially disappointing as they did a lot of the hard work in restricting their opponents to 235 for seven only to be bowled out for 215 themselves.
But wicketkeeper/batsman Taylor, who made exactly 50 against Pakistan, said Zimbabwe's mood remained positive.
"It's surprisingly upbeat. We know we need to win this game. There are no grey areas there.
"But they (Ireland) are a good side. We're very much aware of that. "The more demoralising one (loss) was Pakistan, not getting over the line at 230.
"Guys need to just put their heads down -- 30s and 40s aren't going to win us games. We need to carry on, kick on, and get that hundred. So that is the focus."
'He's got some great striking ability'
Zimbabwe will be without captain Elton Chigumbura at Bellerive Oval after the all-rounder suffered a hamstring tear fielding against Pakistan.
"From what I understand, he has a grade three tear," said Taylor.
"I don't understand in terms of how long that will put him out.
"I know he's working day and night with the physio trying to get him ready for the India game.
"He's got some great striking ability in terms of hitting boundaries, so he's a big loss there. But we've got to hit with the batters that are batting tomorrow."
Whatever happens on Saturday is unlikely to be quite as dramatic as the teams' previous World Cup meeting when they played out a tie in Kingston, Jamaica, during the 2007 edition.
Zimbabwe were 212 for six, chasing 222 to win, but lost their last four wickets for nine runs in 15 balls as Ireland grabbed a last-ball tie.
"I remember that very well," said Taylor. "I remember the last ball. Stuart (Matsikenyeri) was 70-odd not out and he got a low toss and he missed it. I'm sure he's kicking himself. We all kicked ourselves.
"There was a chance for Ireland to win, and there was a chance for us to win. "But it's a new day (on Saturday). We'll both be up for it," Taylor added.