World Cup

Calypso kings ready to rock, but Zimbabwe is no pushover

Zimbabwe looks to upset the West Indies’ applecart

The West Indies believes it has turned the corner as it prepares to face Zimbabwe in a pivotal Pool ‘B’ World Cup match at Manuka Oval here on Tuesday.

The West Indians celebrated their first victory of the tournament with a thumping 150-run win over Pakistan in Christchurch on Saturday following their shock first-up loss to Ireland. Tuesday’s match is set up nicely after Zimbabwe also registered its first points with a four-wicket triumph against the United Arab Emirates at Nelson on Thursday.

The West Indies will start favourite to beat Zimbabwe after winning 34 of its previous 44 One-Day International encounters against the Africans, but, as Ireland showed, upsets are possible.

The Caribbean cricketers were criticised heavily after their lethargic loss to Ireland, but allrounder Andre Russell believes his team now has momentum.

“It’s a very good feeling winning a game after losing to Ireland, in that manner,” said Russell, Man-of-the-Match against Pakistan with an unbeaten 42 and three for 33.

“It just goes to show that the West Indies can dominate and we are here to compete.

“On the day we have to turn up. It doesn’t matter which team we play against, we’re going to have to play our A game.

“It’s all good cricket from now on. It’s the momentum, and once we keep doing what we can do, I think we're going to go all the way.”

However, the form of West Indies opener Chris Gayle continues to be a concern.

He was out for four against Pakistan and his average has dropped to 14.42 over 19 innings in the 20 months since his last century. But uppermost in West Indies captain Jason Holder’s thoughts is beating Zimbabwe and pushing on towards the quarterfinals.

“I’m very confident going forward into this game. I think what is important is that we keep this momentum that we have going,” he said.

Bravo out

Meanwhile, Darren Bravo has been officially ruled out of the clash against Zimbabwe.

“Windies confirm Darren Bravo to miss match vs Zimbabwe on Tuesday. The team remains hopeful he might be fit to face SA in Sydney on Friday,” the team announced on its Twitter feed on Monday.

Bravo suffered a left hamstring injury in Saturday’s win over Pakistan.

Jonathan Carter is expected to be drafted into the team to play Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said his team has targeted victory over the West Indies after breathing new life into its World Cup campaign with victory over UAE.

After losing its opener to South Africa, Zimbabwe allowed the UAE to carve out the Middle East nation’s highest ODI score of 285 before claiming victory with 12 balls to spare.

“We need to take this momentum into the game against the West Indies,” said Chigumbura.

“Hopefully we can polish up our fielding and have a good game in all departments.”

Sean Williams, who was Zimbabwe’s hero with an undefeated 76 batting at five against the UAE, said his team had to play its best cricket to upset the West Indies.

“We have to respect the opposition. West Indies on the day, Chris Gayle comes at you and he’ll beat people single-handedly. So you know, it’s just a matter of doing things the right way,” he said.

Zimbabwe has performed creditably at the World Cup and had its moments against South Africa.

The teams (from):

West Indies: Jason Holder (capt.), Marlon Samuels, Sulieman Benn, Darren Bravo, Jonathan Carter, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Denesh Ramdin, Kemar Roach, Andre Russel, Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor, Nikita Miller.

Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (capt.), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Solomon Mire, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tinashe Panyangara, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams.

Umpires: Steve Davis and Ian Gould.

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Printable version | Jul 11, 2020 1:01:12 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/cricket/world-cup/calypso-kings-ready-to-rock-but-zimbabwe-is-no-pushover/article6926461.ece

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