West Indies 158-7 (Pollard 45no) beat
Zimbabwe 117-6 (Badree 3-17) by 41 runs.
Second T20 International, North Sound, Antigua
Report by Daniel Grummitt
West Indies were briefly tested by Zimbabwe before emerging as comfortable winners of the second Twenty20 International at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium.
Lendl Simons helped them survive a stuttering first half of their innings with a mature 41 off 39 balls, before Kieron Pollard provided the late momentum and, in conjunction with Darren Sammy, harvested 60 off the final five overs.
Zimbabwe’s run chase is perhaps best described as a non-event. They never looked like seriously challenging their target of 159 and, despite a skittish 53 from Hamilton Masakadza, never got close.
It was a familiar story as they again lost their top-order cheaply, only this time Craig Ervine and Malcolm Waller were unable to effect a recovery. Only Masakadza made a meaningful score, although he had more than his fair share of luck and could’ve been caught on numerous occasions only for the ball to narrowly elude fielders.
Samuel Badree caused the early problems, bowling Chamu Chibhabha after he had played a couple of pleasing strokes, and having Vusi Sibanda caught well by Dwayne Bravo at point off a poorly executed cut shot. When he also removed Brendan Taylor, caught at short cover off a leading edge trying to work the ball into the leg-side, Zimbabwe were 33 for three in the eighth over and the game was as good as finished.
Masakadza could have perished at various opportunities and was one of several Zimbabwe batsmen who looked clueless against Sunil Narine. None of the middle-order appeared to be able to pick the leg-spinner from the off-spinner and it was a remarkable fact that Narine didn’t pick up a wicket, conceding 22 from his four overs. A word must also go to Shannon Gabriel, who replaced Tino Best in the West Indies XI today, and bowled with good pace and hostility, regularly touching the 90mph mark.
Masakadza did have the consolation of reaching his fifty shortly before the inevitable end and began to look as if he might be regaining a bit of form after a disastrous tour thus far. Zimbabwe eventually ended on 117 for six and will have to pick themselves up quickly before the Test series which begins on 12th March.
West Indies will be pleased with the ever-expanding pool of players that they have at their disposal, with Gabriel the latest to emerge; and will be particularly happy with the increasing maturity shown by Kieron Pollard. Today, he came in with his side on 79 for three in the 13th over and, while not in trouble, they were not exactly dominating the Zimbabweans in the way they might have hoped.
He soon remedied that and as the spinners came towards the end of their spells he launched on attack on Tendai Chatara that was devastating. Of the 60 runs that came off the final five overs, 23 came off Chatara, who bowled the 18th. Pollard ended on 45 not out off 24 balls and had timed his assault perfectly. Zimbabwe were left demoralised and never recovered.
© Cricket World 2013
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