July 11, 2000

Zimbabwe move in on hat-trick of wins

West Indies never in contest

Canterbury, 30 overs: Zimbabwe 256 for four; West Indies 107 for seven (Jacobs 16, McLean 3)

After 30 overs of the West Indian innings, Zimbabwe were on the verge of another sensational victory. The erratic Johnson dismissed the openers cheaply, and when Adams and Lara were out in quick succession the game was as good as over, or up, for the West Indians.

NatWest Series

Zimbabwe began their innings as if they were going to give it all to the West Indies in wides, with Johnson the worst offender. However he took the wicket of Campbell (2), who turned a ball straight into the midriff of Grant Flower at square leg; West Indies 7 for one.

Gayle played one fine cover drive for four, but then checked a drive against Johnson, to be caught at mid-on for 6. West Indies were 18 for two, and it was their moment of truth as Brian Lara came in. Before he had scored he lost Hinds, who like Gayle hit one superb off-side boundary before driving a ball straight back to Bryan Strang to be out for 9; 23 for three.

Adams and Lara go

A wicket fell as soon as Streak came on to bowl the 13th over, but to a run-out. Adams turned the ball near Paul Strang at square leg, and Lara, backing up, called for a hasty single; there was a mix-up and Adams had no chance with a good throw to the bowler. Adams was out for 10, and without further addition Streak as good as sealed the match; Lara (3) played the ball on to his stumps off the bottom edge and West Indies were 41 for five, needing a miracle.

It is not in Powell's nature to go down meekly, but he restrained himself well, selecting his deliveries carefully and waiting for the right one before hitting it with his usual power. On 14, though, he tried to drive Viljoen across the line and was bowled by a straight one; West Indies 57 for six.

Sixes - and seven (wickets)

Paul Strang came on to bowl, still a favourite in Canterbury after his successful year as a professional, but Rose greeted him with two huge leg-side sixes and a slashed four through extra cover. Before long Jacobs too was hitting Strang for six, but in the same over Rose (30) tried to sweep a straight ball and was trapped lbw; 103 for seven.