March 31, 2000

A new West Indies?

The West Indies Cricket Team stormed to a 2-0 series victory over Zimbabwe this past weekend at Sabina Park in Jamaica. It was one of the most entertaining matches for West Indian fans in recent years as it saw the world record of most test wickets broken by Courtney Walsh, the return of newly appointed captain Jimmy Adams with his first test hundred since 1996 and the coming of age of young pacers Franklyn Rose and Reon King. Upon winning the toss Zimbabwe chose to bat on a hard, quick Sabina pitch that looked like a batsmen's paradise.

The West Indies started well and had the visitors on the ropes at 40 for 3, however, a 176 fourth wicket partnership between Murray Goodwin (113) and Andy Flower (66) soon changed that. Goodwin was particularly severe on the wide short deliveries as he registered a brilliant century and was unluckily run out just before the close on the first day. King bowled with extreme aggression and pace as he captured 5 for 51. Chasing 308 was not going to be easy, however, the West Indies pulled together and Jimmy Adams played a remarkable captain's innings of patience and poise.

Adams (101 not out) and Rose (69) set a West Indies record with an eighth wicket partnership of 148. Rose played with authority and crashed some huge sixes over square leg as Adams played the anchor and quietly registered his sixth test century. When the West Indies were all out for 339 Zimbabwe were against the wall. The West Indies' bowlers came out firing and shot out the Zimbabweans for just 102.

Walsh finally broke the record with 3 for 21 and immediately received a phone call from India from the former record holder, Kapil Dev, congratulating him. Both Rose and King picked up 2 wickets apiece as the West Indies were set just 78 for victory. Griffith (54 not out) and Campbell (16 nor out) made light work of the modest total as they cemented a memorable victory and a series sweep. Captain Adams received man of the match for his wonderful innings and Rose won man of the series for his fiery bowling and his very important innings of 69. The West Indies now go on to take part in a three-way one-day tournament between themselves, Zimbabwe and Pakistan.