Tendai Chisoro played a crucial role with bat and ball as Zimbabwe staged a remarkable comeback to stun West Indies by five runs on the Duckworth-Lewis method for rain-hit games on Friday and qualify for the Tri-series final. (Scorecard)
Chisoro scored an unbeaten 42 and then claimed 2 for 23 in six overs to help Zimbabwe recover from a disastrous position. Zimbabwe qualified for Sunday’s final against Sri Lanka with their first win of the tournament, while West Indies will head home after losing two close games and tying another.
Zimbabwe scored 218 for eight and West Indies then finished on 124 for 5 in 27.3 overs.
Such an outcome had looked highly improbable when West Indies spin duo Devendra Bishoo and Ashley Nurse took three wickets each to reduce Zimbabwe to 89 for seven.
The hosts made a solid start after electing to bat, only for a rain delay to upset their momentum and reduce the game to 49 overs per side.
Leg spinner Bishoo bowled Hamilton Masakadza and Brian Chari after the resumption before off-spinner Nurse dismissed left-handers Craig Ervine and Sean Williams in the same over. With Peter Moor and Graeme Cremer also falling to the spinners, Zimbabwe lost six wickets for 41 runs in 15 overs and looked headed for a low total.
But Sikandar Raza found support in Donald Tiripano, the pair adding 38 runs for the eighth wicket, and then formed a match-winning partnership with Chisoro.
The duo scored 50 runs from the final five overs of the innings on their way to an unbroken partnership of 91 -- a Zimbabwean record for the ninth wicket in ODIs -- as Sikandar Raza remained unbeaten on 76 and Chisoro a career-best 42 not out.
“We were really under the pump with the bat at one stage, but that partnership at the end to get us up to 218 was outstanding,” said Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer. “Then the guys came out and showed great intensity with the ball.”
Zimbabwe started their defence with 21 overs of spin, and the plan paid off. Chisoro struck twice in his first 11 deliveries, and with the other spinners maintaining the pressure, West Indians sank to 93 for five and found themselves behind the Duckworth-Lewis curve with the rain closing in once more.
Although Jonathan Carter made 42 not out and skipper Jason Holder tried to pull the game back with a late flurry of boundaries, West Indies could not get back in front before the umpires took the players off the field in the 28th over.
“We’re disappointed about not being able to finish off the game,” said Holder. “We lacked the killer instinct, but we’re trying to gel together as a team.”