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Zimbabwe win a thriller, take 1-0 lead
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter


Ground:Guyana National Stadium, Providence
Scorecard:West Indies v Zimbabwe
Player:S Chanderpaul, CH Gayle, V Sibanda
Event:Zimbabwe in West Indies 2009/10

DateLine: 4th March 2010

 

 

The Zimbabweans managed to keep the momentum that they managed to get after the T20 win as they squeezed a narrow two run win over the Windies. The visitors showed great spirit and guts in defending a modest total of 254 as once again it was their army of spinners who came to the forte. The Windies started off in their run-chase much like the Zimbabweans did but other than the top three, no one else impressed with the bat.

 

Prosper Utseya won the toss and elected to bat first on a track that would get slower and lower as the match progressed. Openers Masakadza (41, 45b, 6x4) and Sibanda (95, 162b, 1x6, 5x4) added 67 in 18.4 overs for the first wicket. Though the run-rate was nothing home to write about a perfect base was set from which the visitors could put up a challenging total. Taibu (56, 54b, 5x4), promoted up the order, injected some momentum into the match as he played some innovative shots to get the scoreboard moving. He along with Sibanda added 100 in 18.3 overs before Pollard trapped Taibu leg-before.

 

The partnership between Taibu and Sibanda was the only one worth while the others came in and threw their bat around but could not make any serious contributions. Sibanda very nearly carried his bat through the innings and just five runs short of his century an unplayable yorker from Roach terminated his innings. Zimbabwe at the completion of 50 overs scored 254 for the loss of 5 wickets.

 

West Indies in reply boosted by the return of their skipper Gayle back in the side got off to a steady start. Gayle (57, 66b, 3x6, 2x4) and Barath (50, 96b, 1x6, 4x4) added 99 for the first wicket in 23 overs before the former fell. The Zimbabwean spinners once again proved hard to get away as they strangulated the West Indian batting line-up with some excellent bowling.

 

The host's innings got derailed with a couple of run-outs before Chanderpaul took the wheels of the chase. With wickets tumbling around him Chanderpaul (70, 70b, 1x6, 4x4) kept his cool to steer his side to the doorstep of victory before disaster struck the hosts at an untimely moment. Chanderpaul in the 48th over failed to clear the long off boundary as he was caught by Chigumbura who kept his cool to swallow the catch without much issue.

 

Ramdin (8, 16b) too fell in the very next over thus putting the hosts in a spot of bother. With Windies requiring 15 in the last over it was left to big-hitting Smith to take the side to win. But Nikita Miller (12 not out, 4b, 1x6, 1x4) eased the Windies nerves as he coolly swatted Shingirai Masakadza over midwicket for six and then succeeded in getting an outside edge which flew to the third man fence. With the equation brought down to five of four balls Smith got the strike in the fourth ball. But debutant Shingirai Masakadza kept his cool and bowled the perfect ball for the situation, a straight delivery to which Smith (4, 5b, 1x4) responded with an almighty swing and was cleaned up. Benn (0, 1b) couldn't do much as he chipped a catch lamely to Cremer at at midwicket and with four required of the last ball, Roach (1 not out, 1b) just managed to keep out the yorker as Zimbabwe won by two runs.


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