West Indies register easy victory
The defending champions steamroll minnows Zimbabwe with a comfortable 9-wkt win in the 2nd qualifier. Scorecardindia Updated: Oct 09, 2006 14:15 IST
Before the ICC Champions Trophy kicked off on Oct 7, many went close to hailing Zimbabwe as the dark horse of the tournament, capable of springing up a surprise on any of the biggies of the cricketing world.
However with a performance like today's, all that talk will surely be put to rest!
The defending champions - West Indies - ran amok against Zimbabwe, first with the bowl and then with the bat to register an easy nine-wicket victory over the minnows in the 2nd of the qualifying matches at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahemdabad.
Set just 86 runs to win, after a hapless batting performance by the minnows, the Caribbeans cantered to victory in only 14.2 overs to keep themselves in line for one of the two berths up for grabs from the qualifying round.
Windies complete formalities
Gayle began sedately, managing to post just 2 runs in his first 17 balls.
However, a small target was too good an ice lolly for him to miss. Soon, his instincts took over and he launched into the woeful attack hitting Anthony Ireland for six and two fours in the eighth over of the WI innings.
The scoreboard raced along at a blistering pace and even after he departed for an upbeat 41 - made at more than a run-a-ball - Lara ensured that the sparsely-crowded Motera ground did not miss out on the fireworks.
The skipper's two pick-ups off Utseya cleared the stadium and signalled an early end to the qualifying encounter.
Earlier, Zimbabwe, ever plagued with batting woes, kicked off its Champions Trophy campaign on a worst possible note, managing to post just 85 runs in 30.1 overs.
Faced with a formidable opposition in the form of defending champions, the Zimbabwean skipper Prosper Utseya made the right call early on in the innings by winning the toss and electing to bat on the firm Motera pitch.
However, sharp Caribbean bowling ensured that the minnow's batting line-up exploded like a pack of cheap party balloons!
Just 3 overs into the match, Bradshaw cleaned up Chibhabha, with the ball that nipped back in to the batsman and triggered the batting self-annihilation, that has come to be associated with the minnows.
Taylor, not to be outdone by his teammate, got Mazkadza in similar fashion in the very next over. Mufambisi and Taylor, thereafter, kept the smile on Lara's face by gladly swinging to the Caribbean music.
If the West Indies bowling was precise to the dot, the fielding was not too far behind. Middle-order bat Rinke went for a sucidal run, trying his best to rotate the strike and bring some urgency in the innings.
But all he did was further worsen it as Hinds's quick pick-and-throw landed dead on the middle stump, with the batsman nowhere near the frame.
For minnows's sake, the only solace was the captain himself, who looked dogged in his knock of 27 runs that lasted all but 41 balls. But considering the opposition and the situation, it was far from enough.
Gayle's day out
The first fifteen overs were bowled and half the side was already back into the pavillion, resting their bruised ambitions.
Utseya delayed the Carribean onslaught, but was soon pushed aside as part-time spinner Chris Gayle scalped easy wickets off innocous deliveries.
With his two-step run-up that almost looked like a mock at Zimbabwe's batting standard, he cleaned up the tail, finally finishing with dandy figures of 3 overs-3 runs-3 wickets!
West Indies Team
CH Gayle, S Chanderpaul, MN Samuels, RR Sarwan, BC Lara (captain), DJ Bravo, DR Smith, WW Hinds, CS Baugh (wicket-keeper), JE Taylor, IDR Bradshaw
TV Mufambisi, S Matsikenyeri, CJ Chibhabha, H Masakadza, BRM Taylor (wicket-keeper), E Chigumbura, HP Rinke, P Utseya (captain), AJ Ireland, EC Rainsford, T Kamungozi