Story by Raynald Ngwarati
The Zimbabwe national men’s cricket team outclassed West Indies by 35 runs, in their International Cricket Council (ICC) World Cup Qualifier at Harare Sports this afternoon.
A disciplined bowling attack led by the experience of Zimbabwe’s all time leading wicket taker, Tendai Chatara powered Zimbabwe to an emphatic victory over cricket heavy weights West lndies.
Needing 269 runs to win, the Windies as West Indies are known in cricket, started well with a 43 run partnership between Brandon King 20(12) and Kyle Mayers 56(72).
However, an exceptional bowling display gave Zimbabwe an edge over their rivals to make it to the top of Group A and qualify for the tournament’s Super Six stage.
Chatara took 3 wickets for 52 runs, while Man of the Match Sikandar Raza, Richard Ngarava and Blessing Muzarabani took two wickets apiece as Zimbabwe bowled West lndies out for 233 all out in 44.4 overs.
It was an adrenaline packed match, with the West Indies seemingly in charge of the majority of the match, but in the end Zimbabwe had the final laugh.
Earlier on Raza 68(58) scored his 21st half century to propel Zimbabwe to a competitive total of 268 runs all out in 49.5 overs.
Ryan Burl also played a critical role in shaping Zimbabwe’s innings with a solid 50(57), while Craig Ervine scored 47(58) as Zimbabwe fell just short of 270 runs.
Zimbabwe are undefeated in three world cup qualifiers and are poised to lead Group A enroute to the next stage of the tournament.
Elsewhere, at Takashinga Cricket Club, the Netherlands got back to winning ways after beating Nepal by 7 wickets.
It was a uni-directional match as the Netherlands bowled Nepal out for 167 runs in 44.3 overs, before comfortably chasing the target in 27.1 overs.
Action continues in Bulawayo tomorrow with Scotland taking on Nepal at Bulawayo Athletics Club, while it promises to be a blockbuster when Ireland takes on giants Sei Lanka at Queens Sports Club.
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s next match will be on Monday against the bottom of the log United States of America.