Zimbabwe v West Indies, tri-series, Bulawayo November 19, 2016

Zimbabwe earn tie with three-run last over


Zimbabwe 257 (Ervine 92, Raza 77, Carlos Brathwaite 4-48) tied with West Indies 257 (Hope 101, Kraigg Brathwaite 78, Tiripano 2-26 Williams 2-52)
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

PJ Moor ran Jonathan Carter out off the last ball with an under-arm flick © AFP

With West Indies needing four off the last over in Bulawayo, Donald Tiripano cunningly gave away just three runs and denied Jason Holder off the last ball to seal the 34th tie in 3806 ODIs.

West Indies were comfortable at 220 for 2 in the 45th over in a chase of 258, but from the moment Shai Hope edged behind for 101 they lost six wickets for 37 runs. The equation ultimately boiled down to to the last ball: West Indies needed one. It boiled down to one man v the other: Tiripano v Holder. Coach Heath Streak was on his feet. Bulawayo was on its feet. Tiripano flicked out a full slower ball, wider than a set of stumps outside off; it was tantalisingly close to the tramline. Holder threw his hands at a drive, but couldn't reach the ball. Both Holder and Jonathan Carter, from the non-striker's end, scampered off for a bye. Wicketkeeper PJ Moor, who had come under the scanner for several missed chances in the Test series, kept his head, took his time, and nailed the stumps at the striker's end with an accurate under-arm throw. Tiripano set off on a celebratory sprint and left Bulawayo bouncing in utter delight.

Zimbabwe's three front-line bowlers - Chris Mpofu, Tendai Chisoro and Graeme Cremer - and left-arm spinning allrounder Sean Williams had bowled out. It left Cremer with two options for the final over: seamer Tiripano and part-time offspinner Sikandar Raza. Raza had leaked 25 runs in four overs, and Cremer turned to Tiripano, who had not bowled since the 10th over.

Tiripano's first ball - full and outside off - was drilled to sweeper cover. Carlos Brathwaite then swung wildly at a legcutter and dragged a catch to long-on. The third ball was more dramatic: Holder drove a full delivery straight back at Tiripano who deflected it onto the stumps at the non-striker's end with an outstretched right hand to catch Ashley Nurse, who had backed up a fair way, short for a duck without facing a ball. When Holder snuck in a leg-bye off the fourth, West Indies were left needing 2 off 2. Carter swatted at a short legcutter, and Chamu Chibhabha nearly pulled off a sensational grab, diving forward from deep square leg. The single meant the visitors levelled the scores. Tiripano then trumped Holder to cap an unlikely turnaround.

Having opted to bat, Zimbabwe had lost their last eight wickets for 67 runs, and just about managed to last 50 overs for the first time in eight attempts in ODIs in 2016. Their fielding was worse than their batting implosion. Tiripano gave Hope his first life on 59 when he trod on the long-on rope while pouching an over-head catch. Three overs later, Raza reprieved Hope on 69 by shelling a regulation waist-high catch at short extra cover. Raza's day turned into a nightmare when he ran back from the same position and dropped the same batsman in the 39th over.

Zimbabwe's lack of awareness in the field came to the fore when Williams was called out for a no-ball at the start of the 40th over, as Cremer had five men inside the ring. Kraigg Brathwaite had a slice of luck on his own, on 45, when he gloved a sweep. The ball grazed the base of the leg stump and the bails refused to budge.

Hope, playing his second ODI, pressed on to raise a maiden century when he shovelled Mpofu past midwicket. In the process, Hope became the joint second-quickest, along with Roy Fredricks and Travis Dowlin, to make a maiden hundred for West Indies in ODIs. Desmond Haynes was the quickest, scoring 148 on debut against Australia in 1978.

After having brought up his maiden half-century, Kraigg Brathwaite picked out long-off three overs later. Three balls later, Williams bowled Rovman Powell with a fizzing yorker. Tiripano then ran away with the momentum.

Tiripano was earlier in the midst of the Zimbabwe implosion. He was the only batsman among the hosts' last seven to reach double-figures.

Craig Ervine's 92 off 100 balls formed the spine of Zimbabwe's innings © AFP

It starkly contrasted with the attacking enterprise showed by Craig Ervine and Raza in their 144-run partnership, and the solidity showed by openers Brian Chari and Chibhabha in their 38-run opening stand.

Ervine and Raza placed the ball into the gaps with laser-guided precision. In between, there were some occasional hefty blows too. They joined forces at the start of the 14th over, and West Indies did not find a way past them until the 39th over. By then the score was nearly 200.

With variable bounce challenging the batsmen, West Indies persisted with a short extra cover even in the 32nd over, but Ervine and Raza refrained from playing across the line, especially early in their innings. Once the pitch eased out, they showcased their gallery of shots.

Ervine swept, reverse-swept and often raced down the track to throw Sulieman Benn and Nurse, who did not get much turn, off their tracks. He was the first to reach his fifty, off 62 balls. Raza then reached his milestone off 59 balls and took the lead. He pulled powerfully but arguably the most memorable shot was the wristy glide, which bisected backward point and short third man in the 35th over.

Four overs later, Raza hit a lofted drive straight into the lap of wide long-off, and the innings unravelled spectacularly with Carlos Brathwaite collecting career-best ODI figures of 4 for 48. Zimbabwe, however, came away smiling in the end and ensured that the tri-series was no two-horse race.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Michael on November 21, 2016, 22:09 GMT

    No Lendl Simmons,Darren Bravo,Dwayne Bravo,Kieron Pollard,Denesh Ramdin.Sunil Narine and no Phil Simmons either . Holder and the lads NOW have peace of mind and they are doing just GREAT. and it is either Hope or Dowrich behind the stumps...Pooran is a leg side SWIPER and CANNOT keep...that is why he was dropped for the last match...a waste of space in front and behind the stumps ..Katwarro CANNOT BAT and his only claim to fame as a keeper is a leg side stumping.

  • shinet3915476 on November 21, 2016, 11:08 GMT

    THELIGHT fair enough who would you suggest? Please don't bother to mention any of the older players on the T20 circuit because they are not coming back. Don't say Heptmyer he is what 19 at the most. So who? If they are going to change though I would suggest Jason Mohammed. He just need to stay away from the big boys and concentrate on his cricket

  • Roland on November 21, 2016, 10:47 GMT

    With a competent captain, WI would have won this match. Holder continues to show that he is not captaincy material. Flash-in-the-pan winning performances by individuals will not hide his incompetence in very game. Time for WI to find a new skipper before it too late.

  • Harsh on November 21, 2016, 4:20 GMT

    No match could have been a greater illustration of the need for big match temperament to put the final icing on the cake as this match.At 220-2 It was mere walk in the park for the Calypsos before the quick flurry of wickets.At 242-5 Zimbabawe came back but with only 4 runs required in the final over it need a Houdini act for Zimbabwe to escape. The final over had the sensation of a total reversal of plot in an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.West Indies did exactly what they should not have done while Zimbabwe did exactly the opposite,sticking to the basic task.Few games better illustrated the importance of mental strength which won the day for Zimbabwe.The last over may rank amongst the best ever bowled in the closing stages of an O.D.I.Although the game was a victory for cricket it was sad to see the Calypsos buckle under pressure after looking so rejuvenated in the last game.

  • shinet3915476 on November 20, 2016, 15:24 GMT

    Well ALONSOE when you're right you're right . Look at it this way at least it's a start. Matthew Hayden scored 380 to break Brian Lara's record , and he did it against Zimbabwe. That was good for everybody . If they had lost one or both games everybody would be up in arms . You try to win every match regardless of the opposition. Having said that let's hope they continue and show some improvement along the way. A Bajan

  • allana7190588 on November 20, 2016, 14:09 GMT

    One thing that many of the posters here are forgetting is this team does not represent the full T20 might of WI. As a group, they are very inexperienced. Let's look at Holder's approach when facing the final ball with the scores level. ZIM were trying at this point to save the match, not to win it, so it should have occurred the holder that ZIM would be looking for a dot ball. To accomplish that, it had to have been bowled wide off the off stump, yet Holder was holding a middle stump guard instead of going over to off stump. When the delivery come down, Holder was too far away to make contact, Dot ball. Victory relinquished.

  • alfanso on November 20, 2016, 12:09 GMT

    Like I said, one match does not a great career make. This W.I. team still has a long way to go before it is a legit contender. They are playing ZIM on pitches that actually favour W.I. current set up and brand of cricket. We need to see this team performing consistently in a variety of conditions. The world beaters and the the "spin kings" today might look awkward and get spun tomorrow.

  • shinet3915476 on November 20, 2016, 11:53 GMT

    SHAEERLPT clearly you don't understand whatvis going on. West Indies are looking for people who want to and will play for the West Indies wholeheartedly and full time. You have just selected people who are always unavailable or retired or in the case of Roach and Narine struggling for form of 2-3 yes ago.The fact is we're moving on like it or not. If the players have something to say , they should use a little tact

  • Peter on November 20, 2016, 10:58 GMT

    Bad miss by WI but not catastrophic. What they should learn from this: 1. Brathwaite is there to hold the innings together. Whoever bats with him must see it as a partnership which has to average close to a run a ball when it ends. 2. Don't mess about with the batting line up. It disturbs the mindset of the batsmen and hands the psychological advantage to the opposition. 3. Just because a team won the last game doesn't mean that changes aren't necessary. 4. A wicket taking bowler should take the place of one of the spinners against stronger opposition. Both looked quite toothless. 5. Don't panic. Having said all of that it is hard to be too critical of this young group of players. At least they have now gone 3 international matches without a defeat and Holder is contributing and looks to really be in charge now that the old guard is gone. Hopefully they will all learn and mature from this experience and this tour.

  • fahada1648778 on November 20, 2016, 9:30 GMT

    @kimz287 no one cares about your dream team

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