T20 World Cup: West Indies stay alive in race to Super 12s with 31-run win over Zimbabwe

Fast bowling duo of Alzarri Joseph and Jason Holder shared seven wickets between themselves as two-time champions West Indies defeated Zimbabwe by 31 runs in a must-win Group B match in the first round of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup at Bellerive Oval on Wednesday to stay alive in the pursuit of making the Super 12 stage.

After making 153/7 in their 20 overs, West Indies didn’t have a good start to their defence as Zimbabwe’s stand-in captain Regis Chakabva hit three fours in an 18-run opening over off Kyle Mayers. Joseph, who took career-best figures of 4/14, struck with his second ball as Chakabva chopped on to his stumps.

Wesley Madhevere hit two fours and a six in his 19-ball 27, but was losing partners from other end as Joseph shattered Tony Munyonga’s stumps with a pacy yorker while Obed McCoy had Sean Williams chasing a drive and nicking behind to keeper. Holder, who took 3/12, got Madhevere out when he sliced to backward point timing his catch to perfection.

The turning point of the match came when an in-form Sikandar Raza mistimed his slap over the off-side to mid-off moving to his left off Odean Smith in the eighth over. From there, despite some resistance from Ryan Burl (17) and Luke Jongwe (29), Zimbabwe crashed to 122 all out in 18.2 overs, giving the West Indies a much-needed victory in the tournament, as seen from the jubilant celebrations after the win was confirmed in their favour.

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