Taylor leads uninspired Windies

Despite a victory margin of 98 runs, the West Indies failed to find fluency once more, in the second one-day international against Zimbabwe. An enterprising day for allrounder Justice Chibhabha could not quite spare Zimbabwe’s blushes, but the visitors found more positives though going down 2-0 in the series.

Chibhabha followed up a bowling haul of 2/39 with his second ODI half-century of the series and his career. Batting amidst a tumble of wickets, Chibhabha kept his composure and marked his 100-ball innings of 67 with 8 boundaries and impressive temperament.

The West Indies struggled to impose themselves with the bat once more, but a keen spell of bowling from pacer Jerome Taylor ensured the result was rarely in question. Taylor dismissed Piet Rinke (6), Terrence Duffin (1) and Brendan Taylor (0) in his opening burst, with the wickets of the latter two coming off consecutive deliveries.

The quick strike set Zimbabwe back substantially at 11/3 chasing 243 for victory. Though Chibhabha’s presence kept some hope alive, the lack of middle order support once more proved crucial. Following the dismissal of Chigumbura for 13, the game seemed largely on course to a West Indian victory. Even so, the home team at times lacked energy and genuine penetration in their bowling stint.

Taylor was the clear stand-out. He finished with 4/24 and was among five West Indian wicket-takers.

Overall, it was a tedious follow-up to another tedious batting performance by the West Indies. For the second time in as many days, Brian Lara won the toss. On this occasion, however, he chose to bat, and was faced with another purposeful Zimbabwean bowling performance.

Only Ramnaresh Sarwan found any genuine form among the top and middle order on the Antigua surface. He contributed 55 from 61 balls, batting freely among an unimpressive West Indian display. Runako Morton struggled again in the early going and was finally ousted for 16 at 70/1. Although his partner Gayle got to 49, his too was an awkward contribution.

Edward Rainsford was outstanding early on, and had the best figures of 1/35 from his 10 overs. He was supported well by Tawanda Mupariwa (3/46) and Blessing Mahwire (2/58), but the intelligent bowling of Chibhabha at the end of the innings was most impressive. The medium pacer had Chanderpaul caught behind to end a struggling innings of 46, then bowled Dwayne Smith with a full length delivery.

The wicket of Smith was particularly important, as it ended a cameo of 30 off 18 balls, including 3 big sixes. Though the breakthrough helped limit the West Indies to a disappointing 242/9, the score proved much more than sufficient in the context of the game’s result.

West Indies 242-9 (50)
Ramnaresh Sarwan 55, Chris Gayle 49, Shivnarine Chanderpaul 46
Tawanda Mupariwa 3-46, Blessing Mahwire 2-58

Zimbabwe 144 all out (46.2)
Justice Chibhabha 67, T Mupariwa 16
Jerome Taylor 4-24, Chris Gayle 2-21

West Indies won by 98 runs.

Cricket Web’s Man of the Match: Jerome Taylor (6 runs; 4-24)

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