July 16, 2000

Exciting finish in prospect - Tall task for Zimbabwe

Riverside, 30 overs: West Indies 287 for five (50 overs); Zimbabwe 145 for four (Goodwin 58, G Flower 18).

Some good Zimbabwean batting, although marred by two foolish run-outs, kept their team in the game and aroused hopes of a good finish. West Indies, thanks to fine innings by Sherwin Campbell (105) and Brian Lara (86), set Zimbabwe a target of 287, and after 30 overs they were just over halfway there - but with a tall task still ahead of them.

NatWest Series

Campbell's good run ended

Zimbabwe soon lost Johnson (4), who pushed feebly at a ball from Dillon well outside off stump to present a catch to the keeper; 18 for one. Whittall and Goodwin played positively, running well between wickets, and the fifty came up in the 12th over, quicker than the West Indies had been at that stage. The bowling was far from hostile, although the occasional good ball beat the batsman. Whittall made a useful 23 before slashing a catch straight at Powell at backward point off Dillon, and Zimbabwe were 55 for two.

Campbell (12) looked good for a while before being run out for the second match in succession; he played a ball from McLean into the covers for a quick single and was sent back by Goodwin, failing to beat Nagamootoo's throw; Zimbabwe 79 for three. Campbell is not a good runner between wickets but this time perhaps his partner was more at fault.

Good entertainment for crowd

Perhaps shaken by this, Goodwin played a couple of dangerous strokes and on 31 the keeper appeared to miss both a catch and a stumping from the same ball off Nagamootoo. Still, the hundred came up in the 22nd over, still ahead of the West Indies at that stage. But Andy Flower (11) was still over-eager for singles, starting off almost suicidally after an lbw appeal for a run that was not there and being narrowly run out by a direct hit from Gayle; 104 for four.

Goodwin settled down somewhat and, sweeping Nagamootoo frequently, ran to his fifty off 74 balls. The team was still fighting, there was still hope of a reasonably close finish and the crowd was getting good entertainment. However, the required run rate was now just over seven an over.