Zimbabwe 218 for 8 (Rinke 72, Taylor 37) beat Canada 75 (Mupariwa 3-30, Mahwire 2-21) by 143 runs
Zimbabwe, the whipping boys in their series against West Indies, finally found what it is like to win, thumping a very poor Canadian side by 143 runs in the opening match of the Tri-Nation series at a deserted Queen's Park Oval in Trinidad.
Recent form suggests that Zimbabwe are by some way the worst of the Full Member countries, and this match indicated that of the six Associates who the ICC granted ODI status to in January, Canada are close to the bottom of that pile. The real Test for the Zimbabweans will come against Scotland, Ireland, Kenya and Netherlands, but for now a win of any sort is welcome.
The gulf in class between what Zimbabwe faced last week and this was highlighted by the fact that Piet Rinke won the Man-of-the-Match award for his 62-ball 72, which laid the foundation for his side's modest score. Against West Indies, Rinke could not buy a run, making 23 in six outings and appearing hopelessly out his depth. Today, he was back to the thumping form that enabled him to score two hundreds in warm-up matches earlier in the tour. Such is the chasm between the big boys and the rest.
But again there were worries for Zimbabwe as they failed to capitalise on a good start which had them at 149 for 3 after 31 overs, largely thanks to Rinke's 82-run second-wicket stand with Chamu Chibhabha. Brendan Taylor kept the board ticking over, and Elton Chigumbura also chipped in, but a middle-order collapse saw them slip from 183 for 3 to 189 for 8, with Gregory Strydom and Ryan Higgins both failing to score.
Canada were simply never in the hunt from the moment John Davison, their major big gun, was run-out in the second over by Terry Duffin. The other opener, Geoffrey Barnett, was already back in the pavilion by then, himself a victim of a mix-up with Davison which left him stranded at the wrong end.
Things went from bad to worse when Desmond Chumney drove loosely at Tawanda Mupariwa and was caught behind by Taylor, and then Stewart Heaney smacked Blessing Mahwire straight to Chigumbura. At 4 for 4, the game was over.
Ashish Bagai and Haninder Dhillon aimed a few defiant swats, but it was by then academic as Zimbabwe cruised to a win which should mean they play the winner of Wednesday's game between Bermuda and Canada.