July 16, 2000

West Indies take strong grip and Lara's still there

Riverside, 30 overs: West Indies 132 for one (Campbell 53, Lara 22) v Zimbabwe

West Indies took a strong grip on the NatWest Series match against Zimbabwe with some fine batting in the first 30 overs after winning the toss on an excellent batting pitch. Openers Hinds and Campbell both scored fifties, and with Lara in to bat they could well be looking at a total nearer to 300 than 200 if they are able to continue in this vein.

Campbell in control
that's the West Indian Campbell

West Indies made a cautious start to their innings and had a piece of luck when Bryan Strang appeared to be taken by surprise by a sharp return catch offered by Hinds, who celebrated with two fine off-side drives for four in Strang's next over. Rennie at the other end was more economical until conceding two fours in his fifth over, a cover drive by Hinds and a snick by Campbell.

The batsmen now began to take control, playing their strokes freely, and the fifty came up in the 13th over as Hinds off-drove Strang to the boundary. The Zimbabwean bowlers found little help from the pitch or atmosphere and were made to pay heavily for lapses in accuracy. West Indies were tightening their grip on the match when Hinds (42) swung Viljoen, in his first over, straight to Carlisle at deep midwicket, and they were 86 for one.

Lara again looked uncomfortable early on, but the hundred came up in the 25th over. Shortly afterwards Lara swung Viljoen high into the crowd wide of midwicket for six; this was followed shortly by Campbell's fifty.