Zimbabwe beaten with easeHarry Warwick |
A Zimbabwe side who had expressed confidence prior to the Champions Trophy having defeated a shaky Bangladesh side a few months ago were comprehensively beaten by the West Indies in Ahmedabad today – Zimbabwe’s innings lasted all of 30 overs and a ball.
Having won the toss, Zimbabwe chose to bat first and were rolled out for just 85 with captain Prosper Utseya top scoring with 27. Chris Gayle was the pick of the bowlers taking three wickets for the same amount of runs, but the wickets were shared around evenly between the five West Indian bowlers used by their captain, Brian Lara.
It only took 14 minutes before the West Indies took the first Zimbabwean wicket: Chamu Chibhabha missed a straight one from Ian Bradshaw, the seamer’s first wicket, for a single run, and Hamilton Masakadza followed for the same score having been beaten by the swing of Jerome Taylor.
One of Zimbabwe’s double-figure-scoring trio, Tafadzwa Mufambisi, was on the receiving end of a short one from Taylor and fended the ball behind for 18.
With the run-outs of Brendan Taylor and Piet Rinke following the top-order’s lack of stability, the lower order were forced to grind runs against a competent-looking West Indian bowling attack. Certainly not what Elton Chigumbura thought on ten when he attempted to hit over the top but only succeeded in giving up a catch; Taylor took it easily.
Utseya was the last man to go when he attempted to pull Gayle and was trapped in front.
With little pressure on the West Indies during their reply, Gayle demonstrated why he is one of the best attacking batsmen in the world. It may not be against a world-class bowling attack, but his vicious assault on the Zimbabweans secured the game, which was in little doubt anyway, within the opening overs: Gayle’s innings consisted of seven fours and a six.
At the other end, Shivnarine Chanderpaul was patient for an unbeaten 14 and Lara finished the game off after Gayle’s fall with two fours followed with two consecutive sixes, leaving himself on 24.
Prosper Utseya 27, Tafadzwa Mufambisi 18
Chris Gayle 3-3, Dwayne Smith 2-14
West Indies won by 9 wickets
West Indies 90-1
Chris Gayle 41, Brian Lara 24*
Elton Chigumbura 1-17