West Indies beat Zimbabwe by 31 runs in their second First Round Group B match to keep qualification hopes for the Super 12 stage of the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 alive.
In spite of another batting collapse, West Indies posted 153 for seven off their 20 overs, then restricted Zimbabwe to 122 all out with ten balls remaining.
Captain Nicholas Pooran won the toss and chose to bat first on a tense day where losing would mean his side were out of the competition. After a good start with the bat, the West Indies suffered a batting collapse for the second game in a row, this time slipping from 74 for one after nine overs to 101 for six after the 14th over.
Fortunately for the West Indies, Rovman Powell survived a dropped catch and an umpire’s call on a ball clipping leg stump to score 28 in a lower order partnership with Akeal Hosein who was unbeaten on 23 to reach 153-7 after 20 overs.
The change of Johnson Charles for Brandon King, who fell ill prior to the game, proved beneficial as the St Lucian opener top scored with 45 off 36 balls, including three fours and two sixes.
In defence West Indies started poorly as Zimbabwe’s opener and stand-in captain Regis Chakabva hit three fours in Kyle Mayers’ opening over which went for 18 runs.
Alazarri Joseph continued to make a mockery of the decision to be bowled at first change by taking Chakabva with his second ball of the day. The Antiguan pacer was too quick for the Zimbabwe batters and he ended with career best figures of 4 for 14, all of which were bowled.
Opener Wesley Madhevere offered some resistance against the pace bowling of West Indies with two fours and a six in his 27 off 19 balls, but he succumbed to the extra bounce of Jason Holder when he sliced it to Evin Lewis, who took a diving catch at backward point.
In form Sikandar Raza was dismissed by Odean Smith trying to go over the top but spooned a simple catch to mid off and from there the game was effectively over.
There was some lower order hitting from Luke Jongwe who took a liking to Smith’s bowling, but he was out by Joseph for 29 and soon afterwards Zimbabwe capitulated.
In the other game in First Round Group B, Ireland beat Scotland by six wickets with one over remaining.
West Indies 153-7 in 20 overs (Johnson Charles 45, Rovman Powell 28; Sikandar Raza 3-19). Zimbabwe 122 all out in 18.2 (Luke Jongwe 29, Wesley Madhevere 27; Alzarri Joseph 4-14, Jason Holder 3-12). West Indies beat Zimbabwe by 31 runs.
Scotland 176-5 (Michael Jones 86, Richie Berrington 37; Curtis Campher 2-9). Ireland 180-4 (Curtis Campher 72, George Dockrell 39). Ireland won by six wickets.