West Indies Wrap Up Series With Victory Over Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe 232-9 (Sibanda 96, Masakadza 80, J Taylor 5-48)
234-5 (Morton 80, Samuels 62) in Bulawayo
West Indies won by five wickets and lead the five-match series 3-1
A 109-run second-wicket partnership between Marlon Samuels and Runako Morton helped the West Indies wrap up a five-wicket win in the fourth one-day international against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo after Jerome Taylor had earlier taken five wickets in restricting Zimbabwe to 232 for nine.
Both men hit half-centuries, Samuels the more aggressive after Morton (80) had to consolidate the innings after the early departures of Devon Smith and Brenton Parchment.
Zimbabwe struck early when Elton Chigumbura bowled Smith with the first ball of the reply before steady batting from Parchment and Morton helped the West Indies recover in the form of a 62-run partnership before Parchment was out for 25.
Morton was dismissed just as he was looking to accelerate, caught by Chigumbura off of Ray Price shortly before Chamu Chibhabha pulled off a fine catch to dismiss Samuels off of captain Prosper Utseya. Utseya and Price then combined to remove Narsingh Deonarine (nine) as West Indies wobbled, but Dwayne Bravo calmed their nerves with a swift unbeaten 42 as they took an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series, reaching victory with three overs to spare.
Earlier, Jerome Taylor picked up five wickets to haul the West Indies back into the contention after openers Vusi Sibanda and Hamilton Masakadza scored a 167-run opening partnership to put the home side in a strong position.
From a position of 167 without loss in the 36th over, Zimbabwe added only 65 runs as West Indies picked up nine wickets.
With Brendan Taylor dropping down the order, Masakadza's promotion helped his side blaze away, maintaining a run rate just under five, before his wickets heralded two more in quick succession.
Sibanda and Masakadza (80) set a new record opening partnership, overtaking the mark set by the Flower brothers of 161 with a huge six by Masakadza.
Rawl Lewis eventually got the breakthrough when Masakadza was stumped before Jerome Taylor removed Chigumbura (four) and Tatenda Taibu (nought) in the same over. Sibanda was run out for 96, unlucky not to make a century as Zimbabwe lost wickets rapidly in the final overs with Taylor also picking up Staurt Matsikenyeri (four), Keith Dabengwa (two), and Chibhabha (one).
Taylor ended unbeaten on 26, the only other man to make it into double figures.
© Cricket World 2007