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West Indies rally with win over Zimbabwe

October 19, 2022
Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph celebrates one of his four wickets against Zimbabwe on Wednesday. (CMC)

CMC – Fast bowler Alzarri Joseph produced career-best figures as West Indies rebounded from Monday’s shock opening defeat to Scotland with a 31-run win over Zimbabwe in Hobart, Australia on Wednesday, to haul themselves back in contention for a place in the Super 12 of the T20 World Cup.

Facing a must-win scenario in order to avoid an early exit from the tournament, West Indies gathered 153 for seven from their 20 overs with Johnson Charles top-scoring with 45 from 36 deliveries.

Joseph then dismantled the Zimbabwe run chase in two separate spells, claiming four for 16 from his four overs and reducing the innings to 122 all out in the penultimate over.

Fast-bowling all-rounder Jason Holder was once again among the wickets, snatching three for 12 to follow up his three-wicket haul against the Scots.

Luke Jongwe, at number eight, top-scored with 29 from 22 balls while opener Wessly Madhevere struck 27 from 19 deliveries, but Zimbabwe lost their way quickly after a strong start.

At one point, they were galloping along at 47 for one in the fifth over before Joseph and Holder combined to trigger a collapse which saw nine wickets tumble for 75 runs.

Despite the positive result, West Indies will still need to beat Ireland in the final game on Friday in order to advance, with all four teams in Group B on two points from identical one-and-one records.

“After the start they got, you know T20 cricket in the power-play, the batsman has the upper hand because there are only two fielders out,” Joseph said afterwards.

“I was just thinking of coming in, making an impact for the team, do something really special and win the game for the team.”

He continued: “After the last game, everyone got together and we decided we had to put in a really big performance today because it was essentially a final. So we know we had two finals to play to get through to the next round.”

Veteran Charles provided the early impetus, striking three fours and two sixes to inspire a 28-run, first wicket stand with Kyle Mayers (13) and a 49-run, second wicket partnership with Evin Lewis (15).

Charles’s stay ended tragically when Powell left him stranded in a mix-up over a single, one of four wickets to perish for 11 runs in a mid-innings collapse, as West Indies slumped from 90 for two in the 13th over to 101 for six at the end of the 14th.

Powell, who struck a four and two sixes, then partnered with Akeal Hosein (23 not out) in a 49-run, seventh wicket stand to provide West Indies with precious runs at the end.

Veteran off-spinner Sikandar Raza was the stand-out in the attack, finishing with three for 19.

In reply, Madhevere belted three fours and a six in a 29-run, opening stand with captain Regis Chakabva (13), giving Zimbabwe a robust start to their chase.

With the innings bouncing along, Joseph intervened with two key strikes, first getting Chakabva to drag on in the third over and then also bowling Tony Munyonga for two with a quick, straight yorker in the fifth.

The breakthroughs were what West Indies needed and they quickly capitalised.

In the next over, left-arm pacer Obed McCoy had Sean Williams (2) caught at the wicket flashing at a wide ball and Holder claimed the key wicket of Madhevere in the seventh over, brilliantly taken at point by Lewis leaping to his left.

Wickets continued to tumble and by the time Man-of-the-Match Joseph returned to bowl both Richard Ngarava (2) and Jongwe in successive overs, West Indies were already in command of the encounter.

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