WI vs ZIM, World Cup’22: WI reigns with 31 runs!

WI vs ZIM, World Cup’22: West Indies 153 for 7 (Charles 45, Raza 3-19) beat Zimbabwe 122 (Jongwe 29, Joseph 4-16, Holder 3-12) by 31 runs West Indies defeated Zimbabwe by 31 runs with 10 balls remaining to keep their T20 World Cup hopes alive. Even though the margin suggests a straightforward victory, it was […]

  • Sinchan Saha | October 19, 2022 | 7:33 pm

WI vs ZIM, World Cup’22: West Indies 153 for 7 (Charles 45, Raza 3-19) beat Zimbabwe 122 (Jongwe 29, Joseph 4-16, Holder 3-12) by 31 runs

West Indies defeated Zimbabwe by 31 runs with 10 balls remaining to keep their T20 World Cup hopes alive. Even though the margin suggests a straightforward victory, it was punctuated by the same anxieties.

Image Source: ESPN cricinfo

The two-time champions’ performance was definitely not typical, so you wouldn’t call this a return to form.But they persevered through what appeared to be a final collapse in the first innings, going from 90 for 2 to 101 for 6 and ending up with 153 for 7, and they showed their intelligence and fielding experience to defend it. After this, head coach Phil Simmons will no doubt be encouraged by a defiant performance when it was needed, despite his criticisms of an “unprofessional” batting effort in their 42-run loss in their first Group B match.

With 45 and the first two sixes of the West Indies innings, Johnson Charles, a replacement for the ill Brandon King, established the solid foundation that was initially ignored. After that, Rovman Powell’s contributions of 28 and Akeal Hosein’s 23 not out repaired the damage done by Sikandar Raza’s fine spell, which cost 19 points.However, the real difference was Alzarri Joseph’s T20I career best of 4 for 16.

After Zimbabwe’s captain, Craig Ervine, suffered a mild asthma attack prior to the match, both teams made unilateral, forced substitutions. Zimbabwe’s substitutions were more compensatory. Tony Munyong took his place, and Regis Chakabva, the stand-in captain, took over, looking regretful at the end. At the very least, Zimbabwe’s net run rate, which has returned to zero, was lessened by the runs down the order after they were 92 for 7.


Missed opportunities

When the heart of West Indies’ batting was ripped out in a remarkable period of play that appeared to have all but ended their World Cup hopes in the space of 12 deliveries, Chakabva was the skipper who was happier. Chakabva lost four balls for just 11 runs. Before captain Nicholas Pooran scored a second single-figure score in as many innings, they were 90 for 2 at the beginning of the 13th over. He gave Raza a straightforward caught-and-bowled catch for the first of his three wickets. Charles was kicked out of the game before the over was over because he didn’t talk to Powell and didn’t know where the non-striker’s end was.By the 14th, Raza had snagged Shamarh Brooks’ leg and pouched a second return catch off Jason Holder.

In a crucial seventh-wicket stand of 47 with Akeal Hosein that got the Jamaican set into the final over, Powell, no doubt struggling with guilt at the nonstriker’s end, set about making amends. He eyed the impressive Blessing Murzabani and smashed him for two sixes in the first three deliveries. The second one went 104 metres, which was the second-longest of the tournament so far and got West Indies to 150.

The battle would be won by Murzabani, who skied to Richard Ngarava at cover after capturing the right-hander with the subsequent delivery. However, Luke Jongwe would have had a chance at extra cover in the 18th over if Powell had only 12 runs on the board. The innings ended with the impression that, even with their excellence during the middle overs, Zimbabwe had missed opportunities to kill this game in the first innings. This was compounded by Charles getting a life on 15 when Muyonga shelled one running towards the cover boundary, again using Murzabani’s bowling.

That was painfully confirmed in the chase’s first eight overs when form man Raza became the fifth batter to retire with just 64 of the 154 required runs chipped away. After the first two overs had a run count of 29, a fast-paced attack, led by Joseph’s 2 for 13 first burst, took back the initiative. And there were few boundary hitters without Raza, who had scored 82 off 48 against Ireland and appeared to be in good shape with a huge six off Odean Smith before being bowled wide mid-off. This was demonstrated by Milton Chumba’s erroneous slog sweep off Hosein, which Brooks caught 10 yards inside the midwicket boundary for a melancholy two off nine.

Zimbabwe seemed to have given up when Holder yorked Ryan Burl for his 50th wicket in a Twenty20 International. Jongwe set out on a one-man rescue mission, and when three of his boundaries helped find 17 from Odean Smith in the 17th, he had Caribbean palms sweating. Joseph, who had previously returned to do the same to Richard Ngarava, however, bowled him hard with the first ball of the 18th. After Holder took the final wicket, he launched into a celebratory run that was more about relief than joy.

Joseph takes centre stage. 

The fact that Joseph is still only 25 years old after six years competing on a global stage demonstrates how much confidence the West Indies have in his talent. They weren’t too sure about his short-form work because he only made his T20 debut for his country a few months ago. After his nation’s tournament-reviving performance in his ninth appearance, one would anticipate that he will remain in the XI for some time.

Zimbabwe’s chase was ruined at the beginning and end by a devilish yorker, steep bounce, and blistering pace. Chakabva and Tony Munyonga were killed quickly during the first spell: The first played straight and full after being set up with deliveries leaping on him from behind a length, while the second played edging toward his own stumps.

Even though West Indies took wickets after the Powerplay, Joseph did not bowl a third wicket in a row in the seventh. However, Pooran’s decision paid off when the team went two for three in the subsequent stretch (overs 16 and 18). Joseph has taken centre stage with four sets of broken stumps among 16 dots in a tournament where speedsters are in the spotlight.

Rag it around West Indies Australia may not be associated with spin, but tell this West Indies outfit that. Or, to put it another way, give that to their adversaries. Zimbabwe turned them inside out on Wednesday night in Hobart, just like Scotland did in their first World Cup match. West Indies’ innings was derailed in the 10 overs following the Powerplay, when a combination of wicket-to-wicket lines, a pick-and-mix of lengths, and a little swing resulted in five wickets being taken for just 64 runs.

The perfect conditions for this Caribbean collapse were provided by Raza, left-armer Sean Williams.  Charles’ run out reflected the middle order’s sheer panic and inability to rotate the strike. In this tournament, West Indies have faced 109 deliveries from spinners, totaling 87 for the loss of nine runs at an average of 9.66.

Even though the layout of this T20 World Cup is not one that the majority of us would plan, the ICC could not have planned it any better. 

All to play for

There will be two games on Friday where the winner takes all because all four teams in Group B are tied on points. Scotland takes on Zimbabwe, and West Indies takes on Ireland. All three teams have demonstrated enough over the past week to strongly support their passage to the main event.

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However, there is a chance of rain in Hobart, which could reduce the amount of drama. It also emphasises how crucial it was for Zimbabwe to stay in second, the final qualifying spot, ahead of West Indies by 0.275 runs on net run rate by getting so close at the end and avoiding a blowout.