Zimbabwe 254-5 (Sibanda 95, Taibu 56) beat
West Indies 252-9 (Chanderpaul 70) by two runs
First One-Day International, Providence
Vusi Sibanda hit 95 and Tatenda Taibu scored 56 to help Zimbabwe beat the West Indies by two runs in the first One-Day International against the West Indies in Providence.
Zimbabwe reached 254 for five in their 50 overs and despite Chris Gayle, Adrian Barath and Shivnarine Chanderpaul also passing 50 for the home side, they closed on 252 for nine in a thrilling finish.
Sibanda put on 67 for the first wicket with Hamilton Masakadza (41) and then added 100 with Taibu for the second wicket, Taibu facing just 54 balls for his runs as Zimbabwe took advantage of a poor West Indian display in the field.
Their fielding improved as the innings went on, Kieron Pollard kicking the ball onto the stumps to run out Brendan Taylor and Andre Fletcher holding onto a high catch to dismiss Elton Chigumbura for 27 during the batting Power Play.
After Sibanda had hit Pollard for a six and a four on the on side, his innings was ended when Kemar Roach yorked him, the batsman's attempts to dig the ball out only resulting in his bat snapping in two.
He faced 162 balls in all and unbeaten at the end were Stuart Matsikenyeri, on 16, and Greg Lamb, on two.
The West Indies made a good start to the run chase with Chris Gayle playing a typically entertaining innings of 57 in 66 balls with three sixes, helping to ease the pressure on debutant Barath, who found the going harder, but he eventually made it to 50 in 96 balls before he was bowled by Chigumbura.
Gayle had already been trapped in front by Lamb but the experienced Shivnarine Chanderpaul (70) appeared to then be steering the West Indies towards victory but his dismissal, in the 48th over gave the Zimbabweans a huge lift.
Chanderpaul had seen both Fletcher (6) and Narsingh Deonarine (17) run out while Pollard was caught by Taylor for five, and when Chigumbura bowled Denesh Ramdin for eight, the West Indies appeared out of the game.
A late charge, led by Nikita Miller, gave them a chance but two wickets in two balls from Shingirai Masakadza in the final over to dismiss Dwayne Smith and Sulieman Benn left them needing four to win from the final delivery. Miller could only pick up a single which gave Zimbabwe their second win of the tour after they won the Twenty20 International by 26 runs in Trinidad.
Masakadza, who also dismissed Chanderpaul, finished with figures of three for 36 from three overs.
© Cricket World 2010