At the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier on Saturday at the Harare Sports Club, West Indies suffered their first loss, falling to hosts Zimbabwe by 35 runs.
In 49.5 overs, Zimbabwe scored 268 runs overall. West Indies failed to reach the victory target of 269 as they went from a promising 110 for three to a precarious 220 for eight before being bowled out for 233.
The West Indies requested that Zimbabwe bat first after winning the toss for the first time in the match.
The home team, however, was quite methodical in their opening approach and managed the morning time quite successfully, reaching 61 runs in 15.3 overs before losing their first wicket.
After that, they kept dropping at regular intervals until a fifth-wicket stand of 87 runs was put together by Sikandar Raza (68 from 58 balls) and Ryan Burl (50 from 57 balls).
The lower order for Zimbabwe showed some fight and helped their team reach the respectable score of 268 before they were dismissed with one ball remaining in the innings.
West Indies missed a number of crucial opportunities, which freed up Zimbabwe and allowed them to set the difficult mark.
Keemo Seamer The most impressive bowler was Paul, who finished with 3-61 in the full number of overs allotted to him.
Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein also contributed well (2-45). In his 59th ODI, fast bowler Alzarri Joseph continued to shine, finishing with a 2-42 total to reach 99 career wickets.
The West Indies entered the game knowing exactly what they needed to do. Kyle Mayers, the opener, played effectively to score a half-century (56 from 72 balls).
Captain Shai Hope (30 from 39 runs), Nicholas Pooran (34 from 36 runs), and Roston Chase (44 from 53 runs) then made strong middle-order contributions.
The Caribbean team, however, was unable to complete the task since they ran out of wickets at 233 with 5.2 overs remaining.
A significant wicket was taken by the seamer Tendai Chatara (3-52) at a critical juncture in the game, including the last one of the day.
Richard Ngarava (2-25), Blessing Muzarabani (2-33), and player-of-the-match Sikandar Raza (2-36) all made significant contributions.
Daren Sammy, the head coach of the West Indies, expressed his unhappiness during the post-game press conference.
“We have discussed it during the last few games. Giving opportunities to the opposition’s finest batters will eventually bring you into contact with the Cricket Gods.
Today was pretty bad in light of the direction we want this team to take. We failed to accept responsibility today, which is what it’s all about. Therefore, we had no right to win,” he stated.
In their fourth and final Group A match on Monday against the Netherlands, the West Indies will want to get back on track.
Although they have already qualified for the “Super Six” stage of the competition, along with Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, that game is essential for the distribution of points.
Except for points scored against the lowest two teams from each group, all points earned during the group stage will carry over to the Super Six round.
Zimbabwe will therefore carry over four points (from their two victories over the West Indies and the Netherlands). The goal for West Indies is to defeat the Netherlands and gain two points.
Play on the Super Six stage will take place from June 29 until July 7.
Each team faces the teams moving on from the opposing group three times in the Super Six. On Sunday, July 9, the championship game will take place at Harare Sports Club. The ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 will be played in India, and the two finalists will advance there.