SECOND ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL: WEST INDIES VERSUS ZIMBABWE
At the National Cricket Stadium, Saint George’s Grenada, 24 February 2013 Result: West Indies (274/3) beat Zimbabwe (273/8) by 7 wickets.
A much better performance with the bat than on Friday was not enough for Zimbabwe to beat the West Indies, in their second One-Day International (ODI) match of the International Home Series 2013.
As it was, West Indies won the match by seven wickets and with it the ODI series as the win gave them an unassailable two-nil lead going into the third and final match at the same venue – the National Cricket Stadium in the Grenada capital, Saint George’s, on Tuesday.
Once again Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor won the toss, but this time decided to bat.
Although Taylor himself fell for a duck when he was trapped leg-before-wicket by his West Indies counterpart Dwayne Bravo, and Chamunorwa Chibhabha – the first wicket to fall – was bowled by Narine for 11 in the 12th over, the rest of the Zimbabwe batsmen did much better than in the first ODI on Friday with Craig Ervine putting up 80 runs, Hamilton Masakadza 60 and Vusimuzi Sibanda, playing in his one hundredth ODI, 51 runs.
However, thanks to Dwayne Bravo , the Zimbabwe batsmen failed to convert any of the top knocks into big scores. Other than Taylor, Bravo – standing in for the rested Darren Sammy – accounted for Ervine, Masakadza and Sibanda and then returned to try and clean up the tail, taking the wickets of Regis Chakabva and Kyle Jarvis in the process, on his way to retaining career-best figures of six for 43. For that, he was chosen man of the match.
Bravo was presented with his award by former West Indies batsman and wicket-keeper Junior Murray, a native of Grenada, who last week was honoured by the University of West Indies for his service to Caribbean cricket.
In their allotted 50 overs, Zimbabwe made 273 runs – their highest away total against West Indies.
The West Indies response was led by an opening partnership that contributed 111 runs. Sarwan starred in that contribution with his fifth ODI century. At the end of the West Indies inning, he was on 120 runs – his highest ODI score.
But it might not have been had umpire Peter Nero not rejected Zimbabwe’s run-out appeal against Sarwan when he was on 53, and instead referred it to the third umpire.
FIRST ONE-DAY INTERNATIONAL: WEST INDIES VERSUS ZIMBABWE
Day 1 at the National Cricket Stadium, Saint George’s Grenada, 22 February 2013 Result: West Indies (337/4) beat Zimbabwe (181/9) by 156 runs.
Hosts West Indies beat Zimbabwe by 156 runs, in the first One-Day International (ODI) match of the International Home Series 2013.
Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor won the toss and sent West Indies in to bat, in the first ever ODI between the two sides at the National Cricket Stadium in the Grenada capital, Saint George’s.
The West Indies top order built a firm foundation for the victory with the first wicket only falling on 168 in the 29th over, when Kieran Powell (79, 88 balls) was caught by Craig Ervine off the bowling of Christopher Mpofu.
Opener Johnson Charles put up a man of the match performance. He made 130 runs from 111 balls, 12 of which were fours and four sixes, before he was bowled by Mpofu. Number three Darren Bravo finished unbeaten on 100.
For Zimbabwe, Mpofu finished with two wickets for 83 runs in his 10 overs. Natsai M’shangwe got one for 56 in 10 overs, and Kyle Jarvis one for 65 also in 10, as the West Indies finished their allotted 50 overs with 337 runs for four wickets.
The Zimbabwe chase was hampered by a regular fall of wickets, with only Vusimuzi Sibanda (12) going into double figures among the top four. They had all perished after 10.5 overs, with only 34 runs on the board.
Number six Malcolm Waller was the top scorer with 51 runs off 75 balls, six of them fours, and it was his partnerships with number five Craig Ervine (41) and number eight Prosper Utseya that anchored the Zimbabwe innings – the latter pushing Zimbabwe past 150 runs.
Utseya then teamed up with M’shangwe (14) and showed the seriousness of intent that was sorely missing in the top order. The former captain finished unbeaten on 18, but it was his 87 minutes of occupation that brutally exposed the shortcomings of the Zimbabwe top order on the day, and showed why the total of 181 for nine in 50 overs was more a reflection of what they did not do than what the West Indies bowlers did.
Left-handed opening batsman and Zimbabwe’s cricket captain in 2006, Terrence Duffin, has retired from first-class cricket at the age of 30. His final match, this past week, was for Matabeleland Tuskers against Mountaineers at Mutare.
Dufffin said he had reached the point where he needed a year-round job, whereas franchise players in Zimbabwe are on seven-month contracts which cover the playing season. He has signed on for JRG Contracting, an engineering company in Bulawayo, where he will start an apprenticeship.
In 74 first-class matches, Duffin scored 3 772 runs at an average of 29.70, the highest of his four centuries being 193 against Southern Rocks at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo in 2010/11.
Educated at Plumtree School, Duffin began his career with the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy in 2000/01, from where he was posted to Midlands, and then moved to Matabeleland in 2004/05.
He played two Test matches and 23 one-day internationals for Zimbabwe in 2005/06 and 2006/07, and captained the national side for several months in 2006.
He scored four fifties, but his success was only moderate and his scoring rate was felt to be too slow for one-day cricket.
The Matabeleland Tuskers coach Heath Streak said Duffin will be missed as much for what he gave off the field as well as on it – helping and mentoring young players. He said it was sad that Duffin was retiring just as he was reaching what should have been the prime years of his batting career.
Duffin has an affable personality and Heath emphasised that he was a fine example to the entire team, as nobody worked harder at his game and he was totally reliable in all he did. He pointed out that Duffin may not have had as much natural ability as some, but nobody put in more effort to make the most of what he had.
Duffin expressed his gratitude to all who had put hard work into helping him with his career, most notably his coach David Houghton, and to his family and friends for all their support.
LOGAN CUP MATCH: MOUNTAINEERS v MATABELELAND TUSKERS
Day 4 at Mutare Sports Club, 22 February 2013 Close of play: Mountaineers (475/7 dec and 13/0) drew with Matabeleland Tuskers (298 and [following on] 312).
Matabeleland Tuskers are close to securing their third successive Logan Cup trophy after fighting their way through the final day against Mountaineers at Mutare Sports Club to secure a draw.
Tuskers’ heroes were the Hampshire professional Bilal Shafayat and Sean Williams, whose partnership of 153 for the fifth wicket blunted the Mountaineers attack for more than two vital hours. Shafayat stayed for exactly 400 minutes and put up 152 runs.
Mountaineers made a vain attempt at their impossible target, 136 at 15 an over, but after making 13 off two overs, bowed to the inevitable draw.
Matabeleland Tuskers resumed at their overnight score of 42 for three wickets – still 135 runs in arrears. The batsmen in occupation, Bilal Shafayat and the night-watchman John Nyumbu, played a defensive game no doubt also conscious of the possibility that rain might help them save the match. The morning was cloudy but there was more sunshine as the day went on.
Nyumbu fell after about 20 minutes, leg-before-wicket to Shingirai Masakadza for four, and this brought in Sean Williams. He settled in and then looked to take the initiative, playing his strokes well although handicapped by a slow outfield. Williams was particularly strong through the covers and placed the ball skilfully. He soon overtook Shafayat and reached his fifty off 55 balls, although after that he slowed down and appeared to be playing for lunch. Shafayat’s fifty came off 130 balls just before lunch, when the score was 162 for four.
The loss of only one wicket in the first session – two and a half hours, owing to the time lost the previous day – gave Matabeleland Tuskers hope of saving the match, and indeed they gave the toiling Mountaineers bowlers a few chances. Williams was aggressive again after lunch, moving to 83 off 125 balls, before being given out lbw to Timycen Maruma, much to his fury! It was now 194 for five, with Matabeleland Tuskers now 17 runs ahead.
Bradley Staddon now stayed in with Shafayat, who reached his second century for Matabeleland Tuskers in successive matches off 221 balls. The partnership was still intact at tea, another session having passed with a single wicket falling. Now on 254 for five and 77 runs ahead, Matabeleland Tuskers were close to securing a draw.
Staddon went soon after tea for 20 off 58 balls, lbw to Tapiwa Mufudza, who did surprisingly little bowling in this match. Mountaineers’ hopes rose again as Glenn Querl quickly followed, out to Donald Tiripano, and Gavin Ewing was bowled by Price for three. This made the score 268 for eight wickets, 91 ahead with 21 possible overs left.
Shafayat now decided to become more aggressive, and his quick runs soon ensured safety for his team.
He was now hammering the bowlers mercilessly, and brought up his 150 with a huge six over long-on. Next ball he miscued another big hit, to be caught and bowled by Maruma for 152, scored off 302 balls with nine fours and six sixes.
Njabulo Ncube was out in the same over, closing the innings for 312, a lead of 135 with nine overs remaining. Maruma finished with three wickets, a good return to form, if not his best, but generally the bowlers toiled hard throughout the day on a flat pitch where batsmen who played wisely and patiently were very difficult to prise out.
The draw means that Matabeleland Tuskers are certain of winning the Logan Cup again, unless they contrive to lose to lowly Southern Rocks in two weeks’ time, and Mountaineers win next week against Mashonaland Eagles.
Although such a scenario is possible and not unprecedented, it is most unlikely.