Zimbabwe look to avoid first ODI repeat
Match factsFebruary 24, 2013
Start time 0930 local (1330 GMT)
Big pictureIn a short three-ODI series that doesn't last a week, a heavy defeat in the first game can quickly become a nightmare. It wouldn't be outlandish to say that 3-0 to West Indies is an expected result, but for Zimbabwe, who hardly play international cricket these days, this series offers a vital chance to show improvement. Their first outing was forgettable, but they need to avoid a repeat performance.
Their bowlers were battered by the West Indies batsmen, who could have got more than the 337 they eventually did, and when it was their turn to bat, their batsmen slipped at the first sight of Sunil Narine. In the end, it became a question of how badly would they lose. That they lasted 50 overs was largely due to a 67-ball 18 by No. 8 Prosper Utseya. In both innings, there were only a couple of performers of note and in international cricket, other teams feast upon such weaknesses. Zimbabwe need to regroup quickly, as a team, and must show the will and confidence to stay competitive.
West Indies, on the other hand, need to find the ruthlessness that went missing after their World Twenty20 title win. They are expected to steamroll the opposition in this series and the only competition is with themselves. Can they get more if they bat first? Can they bowl out Zimbabwe within 40 overs? These are the challenges that Dwayne Bravo would want his team to take head on after the recent reverses in ODIs in Australia.
West Indies WLLLL
In the spotlight
Darren Bravo has been around for close to four years now. He has shown numerous glimpses of his talent in the past - especially in Tests - but the hundred on Friday was his first in 51 ODI outings. He followed up his maiden Test hundred with two more soon after. With the quality of bowling Zimbabwe offer, he would certainly be hoping for another one in this series.
If Zimbabwe need to show improvement, it has to start from two of their experienced batsmen, Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza. The two were out in consecutive overs without getting into double-digit scores. With 249 matches between them, Zimbabwe would hope the pillars of their batting line-up show some resistance.
Kieron Pollard, who missed the previous match due to travel difficulties in getting to Grenada, will be available for selection for the second ODI.
West Indies: (probable) 1 Johnson Charles, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 5 Kieron Pollard, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 7 Andre Russell, 8 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Tino Best, 11 Sunil Narine
Zimbabwe (from) Brendan Taylor (capt), Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Tino Mawoyo, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Regis Chakabva, Malcolm Waller, Keegan Meth, Craig Ervine, Chamu Chibhabha, Tino Mutombodzi, Natsai M'shangwe
Stats and trivia
- Zimbabwe's first ODI win against West Indies came in their ninth encounter - in July 2000.
- Their last win against West Indies was three years ago, in Providence.
"A first century in a winning cause is a great feeling. The hard work is paying off and the aim is to continue and get more big scores."
Darren Bravo .
Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo