The Caribbean side handed the Chevrons their first defeat of the tournament as they claimed a four wicket win over the hosts in a crunch World Cup Qualifier encounter on Monday.
By SportBrief Reporter
Zimbabwe went into the match looking to seal a World Cup berth with a win over West Indies guaranteeing safe passage to next year’s cricket showpiece.
The Chevrons didn’t make the best of starts with the bat as they found themselves two wickets down at 34 having lost quick wickets in the form of Cephas Zhuwawo (0) Hamilton Masakadza (7). The hosts woes were further compounded when they lost Solomon Mire to a nasty bouncer from Roach.
But Brendan Taylor stepped in and played a scintillating 124-ball 138 and to take the game back to the visitors. He was helped along by Craig Ervine (14), Sean Williams (34) and Sikander Raza (32), who all chipped in with useful scores.
Solomon Mire (45) also posted a decent contribution and would have been disappointed not to reach a half century. West Indies pulled things back after Taylor’s dismissal at 246/6, but the hosts, who had been bouyed by a tremendous home crowd laboured to a decent all-out score of 289.
West Indies came of the block in a fiery mood as veteran opener Chris Gayle smashed some beautiful shots as they looked to regain control of the game but he was undone off the bowling of Muzarabani to leave the visitors at 38/1.
The Chevrons, who had been in superb form over the course of the tournament, surprisingly found the wickets hard to come by as the visitors crossed the 200 mark with only Evin Lewin the only other wicket to fall.
However, after the fall of Samuels at 245/3, the Zimbabwean bowlers seemed to find their strides as they dismissed Shai Hope, Jason Holder and Shimron Hetmyer in the space of 20 runs to set up a thrilling finish with West Indies on 265/6.
Unfortunately, that was as good as things got for the Chevrons as Rovman Powell and Ashley Nurse kept their heads cool to reach the total and keep the West Indies in the hunt for the 2019 World Cup as they now top the group.
Next up for the Chevrons is a match against the United Arab Emirates on 22 March.