Sarwan seals 5-0 over Zimbabwe

Another typical Zimbabwean collapse ensured defeat by 104 runs and a 5-0 whitewash in the Caribbean. Man of the Match, Ramnaresh Sarwan played an innings of 91 in a West Indian total of 266/8. A tumble of the last 8 Zimbabwean wickets for 69 runs then sealed the expected result.

Sarwan fell 9 runs short of his hundred and was the top runscorer on the day for either side. His 115-ball knock was followed by Shivnarine Chanderpaul’s 45 (69 balls) and captain Brian Lara’s 40 (38 balls). Despite the lack of dominance by the home batsmen, the result rarely seemed in question.

As has been the trend throughout the course of a generally dull series, the little fight in the Zimbabwean camp came in defending and grafting rather than any strokeplay to suggest a genuine run-chase.

The result and the margin of victory aside, the West Indies were exposed once more as very much flawed. Chris Gayle (11), Marlon Samuels (6) and Dwayne Smith (4) struggled to find form before perishing to ambitious strokes, and though Dwayne Bravo looked good for 17 runs, he too could not push on to a big score.

Earlier Chanderpaul was solid in his promotion to the opening slot, but upon his demise Lara arrived to bring impetus and adrenaline to the batting effort. The double world-record holder lit up the Queen’s Park Oval with a series of straight hits over boundary line. When his six-count reached 3, he attempted another and was caught well by Elton Chigumbura in the deep. The innings then began to lose direction quickly.

Aside from the contributions of the experienced top order, only Carlton Baugh looked truly at ease in his role. His cameo of 19 off 11 balls was another pleasant reminder of competition to number one wicketkeeper, Denesh Ramdin. Baugh struck two huge sixes and pushed the score comfortably past 250, then was caught in the deep.

Terrence Duffin (2) looked entirely at sea against Fidel Edwards before gloving him down the legside. It was the end of another uninspired contribution from the captain. He was followed soon by Piet Rinke (12), once again dismissed by Jerome Taylor. Celebrating the elusive feeling of breaching double figures, Rinke’s poor technique was again exposed, and he was bowled comprehensively by the Jamaican Taylor.

Brendan Taylor (43 off 82) and Vusi Sibanda (42 off 80) made decent contributions, but their rate of scoring showed the lack of confidence and a proper game plan by the tourists.

When the latter was dismissed at the score of 93/3, it triggered a collapse to fast-track defeat from the meandering quality, which came before. Dwayne Smith cashed in with 4 wickets for the price of 29 runs, and five other West Indian bowlers took a wicket each.

A moderate crowd turned out for this seventh match, summing up the general lack of interest in a largely one-sided series. Had rain not intervened in the third and sixth one-day internationals, the Zimbabwean tourists may well have suffered a record 7-0 whitewash.

His return to form in mind, Shivnarine Chanderpaul was named Man of the Series.

West Indies 266-8 (50 overs)
Ramnaresh Sarwan 91, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 45, Brian Lara 40
Tawanda Mupariwa 3-44, Blessing Mahwire 2-49, Ryan Higgins 2-52

Zimbabwe 162 (49 overs)
Brendan Taylor 43, Vusi Sibanda 42
Dwayne Smith 4-29

West Indies won by 104 runs.
Series: 5-0 (West Indies win)

Man of the Match: Ramnaresh Sarwan – 91 runs
Man of the Series: Shivnarine Chanderpaul – 238 runs @ 59.50 per innings

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