West Indies 337-4 (Charles 130) beat
Zimbabwe 181-9 (Narine 3-28) by 156 runs
First One-Day International, Grenada
Zimbabwe were thoroughly outclassed in the first One-Day International in Grenada, losing by 156 runs as the West Indies bounced back from their whitewash at the hands of Australia to inflict a huge defeat on the tourists.
Johnson Charles and Darren Bravo both hit hundreds at the West Indies racked up 337 for four after being invited to bat, while their bowlers found it exceptionally easy to contain the Zimbabweans once the early blows had been struck by Kemar Roach and Sunil Narine.
At times it appeared as though the West Indies were playing a club side, even down to the two sides relative kit - West Indies’ giving off a shimmering air of professionalism replete with sponsor’s logo, while Zimbabwe’s looked ten years out of date, faded and sponsor-less.
Once the West Indies opening pair of Johnson Charles and Kieran Powell had got going on a flat pitch at Grenada’s National Stadium there really was no hope for the tourists, who had warmed up for this series with a solitary match against a team of players, most of whom were unknown to all but the most hardened followers of West Indies club cricket. Charles and Powell went onto add 168 for the first wicket as both men reached their fifties with relative ease.
Kyle Jarvis provided the most problems, with a bit of occasional swing, while Natsai Mushangwe would later be tidy with his 10 overs of leg-spin costing 56 runs and yielding the wicket of Andre Russell. Charles completed his second successive ODI hundred - also his second ever hundred in professional cricket - off just 94 balls as he and Darren Bravo laid into the Zimbabwe part-time bowlers. Hamilton Masakadza got through five overs at a cost of 35 runs, with Malcolm Waller’s two costing 15.
Bravo powered to his century from just 71 balls and dispatched the hapless Chris Mpofu for successive sixes in his final over. Mpofu ended with figures of two for 83 from 10 overs and was the most expensive of the Zimbabwe attack.
Any lingering hopes of a remarkable Zimbabwe win were soon dashed early on in their run chase. Following a promising start, Vusi Sibanda chose not to review a LBW decision against Kemar Roach and departed for 12. His was the first of four wickets for 14 runs as Roach, Narine and Tino Best removed Zimbabwe’s best batsmen.
Roach was responsible for the wicket of Hamilton Masakadza, besides that of Sibanda, as he leapt full length to cling onto a wonderful catch at long-on off Narine. Captain Brendan Taylor was the final nail in the coffin when he chipped Best tamely to Narsingh Deonarine at mid-off to make it 34 for four.
Craig Ervine and Malcolm Waller then steadied the innings with a partnership of 58. Ervine did the bulk of the scoring but eventually fell, drilling a drive straight to Charles at short cover. Waller did go onto make 51, while Prosper Utseya ensured that Zimbabwe weren’t bowled out by ending not out on 18 off 67 balls.
© Cricket World 2013
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