West Indies v Zimbabwe, 3rd ODI, Grenada February 26, 2013

Darren Bravo guides Windies to 3-0 sweep


West Indies 215 for 5 (Darren Bravo 72*, Powell 42, Mutombodzi 2-35) beat Zimbabwe 211 for 9 (Chibhabha 48*, Sibanda 41, Permaul 3-40) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

The margins of victory became smaller as the series progressed, and in the final match, Zimbabwe even gave West Indies a scare in a modest chase. Darren Bravo, however, was around to guide the hosts to a 3-0 sweep after his mix-up with Kieron Pollard had caused a wobble in the middle of the innings.

Unlike in the second ODI, the asking-rate was never going to be an issue with Zimbabwe having managed just 211, but the rest of the West Indies top six gave away starts. However, Darren Bravo, having taken his time to settle in, coolly kept collecting runs through the off side till victory was achieved in the 47th over.

Zimbabwe had their second batting failure in three matches and their seamers lacked penetration again. The only positive for them was the performance of their young legspinners, Natsai Mushangwe and debutant Tino Mutombodzi. The duo kept West Indies' progress in check after the seamers had failed to break through.

Both Mushangwe and Mutombodzi were eager to flight the ball. They also got it to dip, drift and turn, and displayed admirable control for 22-year old legspinners. Ramnaresh Sarwan and Kieran Powell had eased themselves to a 46-run opening stand against the steady fare of Kyle Jarvis and Chris Mpofu but were tested by the introduction of leg spin from both ends.

Mutombodzi struck with his third delivery in international cricket, getting one to drift into Sarwan for the batsman to push it back for a return catch. Powell used the sweep effectively against the spinners and also played a few pleasing drives through the off side, only to throw it away for the third time in three innings, lofting Mutombodzi to long-on while on 42.

Darren Bravo was cautious against the legspinners, but cut rare wide deliveries from both for fours. Both Mushangwe and Mutombodzi had already bowled seven overs each at the halfway mark, and Brendan Taylor had to bring on his part-time bowlers.

Narsingh Deonarine and Darren Bravo were motoring along without worry when the former clipped Hamilton Masakadza straight to midwicket. Two deliveries later, Darren Bravo took a start for a second run, Pollard responded, only for the left-hander to stop, and for Pollard to be run out without having faced a ball.

Dwayne Bravo came in at 121 for 4 and his quick 25 eased West Indies' nerves before he holed out to long-on. Denesh Ramdin joined Darren Bravo with West Indies 45 runs away, and the duo shut Zimbabwe out with a busy partnership.

The way the visitors had batted, it was quite a recovery with the ball for them to make a game of it. Zimbabwe went nowhere at the start, then began to find some direction, but soon sank further and further. Barring a short period when Vusi Sibanda and Brendan Taylor counter-attacked, they were tied down by a disciplined and varied West Indies attack.

To make matters worse for them, an ill Craig Ervine, their best batsman in the series, was not available. In his absence, the middle order, when called upon to rebuild another stuttering innings, caved in, barring some fight from Chamu Chibhabha. The wiles of Sunil Narine and Veerasammy Permaul, the accuracy of Dwayne Bravo, and the pace of Kemar Roach and Tino Best were too much to handle.

A score of 23 for 1 after the opening Powerplay said it all, as far as Zimbabwe's start went. Despite their scorching pace, Best and Kemar Roach did not allow their lines to suffer and Zimbabwe had little opportunity to score.

They desperately needed some momentum after Tino Mawoyo and Masakadza went cheaply. It came from Sibanda and Taylor. Their stand was worth 55 at over run a ball, and Zimbabwe seemed to have made up for the tame start. But both batsmen were to fall in almost casual fashion. Sibanda tried to turn a Best delivery to leg, only for it to straighten slightly and for mid-off to take the leading edge. Taylor stepped out to loft the left-arm spinner Permaul, but ended up spooning it to cover.

Yet again, Zimbabwe's middle order had a repair job on its hands, and this time, there wasn't a lot of batting to come. The batsmen appeared clueless at times against Narine and weren't able to do much against the variations of Permaul either. Regis Chakabva and Malcolm Waller both had their struggles ended by Permaul.

No. 7 Chibhabha was also uncomfortable against the spinners but retained his composure to target the seamers, especially Dwayne Bravo, later. With Kyle Jarvis willing to hang around, Chibhabha swung a few big hits down the ground to push Zimbabwe past 200 in a ninth-wicket stand of 41. But for an attack that had conceded 337 and failed to defend 273, 211 was too inadequate.

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • associate cricket fan on February 27, 2013, 23:09 GMT

    Zim needs to play more matches. there is no point of giving matches to them once in every 6 or 7 months. 1 home series and 1 away series per year. seriously whats wrong with Icc?

  • Graham on February 27, 2013, 17:34 GMT

    Read my previous posts , as you guys are stating , selection in the ZIM camp is suspicious indeed, and really should be addressed , I think it fair to say that all countries "tamper" with selection regardless of form in limited overs cricket these days. However, should Zimbabwe fail to deliver their best available XI for the test matches eyebrows will be raised and explanations sought. It seems this is already in question when one notes the test squad omits C Ervine, but do not despair I am sure ZC have noted how he was totally comfortable against Roach and company in the ODIs and will add him to the test squad at once.

  • Dummy4 on February 27, 2013, 11:24 GMT

    I don't mean any disrespect towards Zimbabwe, i'm all for seeing teams like Afghanistan and Kenya knocking on the door of International cricket. For West Indies, they need to compete more regularly against teams who are close to their level and above it. They can have competitive matches against New Zealand, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. Oz, India, England and the Saffers are just too strong for them at this point, but the only way they will improve is by playing back to back matches against teams, who are above them in the rankings. It's a lose-lose situation playing a series against Zimbabwe, if they win it was expected, with the only real purpose being a boost to their averages. If they were to lose, they will be vilified by the press and fans alike.

  • Lwandile on February 27, 2013, 8:06 GMT

    Whats the point of Zimbabwe and Bangladesh only playing a handful of games per year? If the ICC is serious about strengthening the game then drastic action needs to be taken in regards to more action for the likes of Zim, Bangladesh, Canada, Ireland, Kenya, Netherlands and even Afghanistan to an extent.

    Its no use throwing them in the deep end every now and then because it does no good to their progress and it certainly does nothing for the likes of the Windies who where almost useless against the Aussies.

  • TholletBeura on February 27, 2013, 7:30 GMT

    A look at the statistics of the just concluded Zimbabwe Domestic Pro 50 Championship 2012/13 has made me wonder at the criterion that is used by ZC in selecting our national representative teams.

    In 8 matches and 7 innings Regis Chakabva scored 142 runs, Average: 23, 66 at a strike rate of 60, 16 and his highest score was only 42. Chibhabha in 8 matches and 7 innings only scored 92 runs at an average 13, 14, and his highest score was only 36 and his strike rate was only 55, 42.

    Guys were these 2 players from Marsh Eagles supposed to be in the WI and are this statics enough for one to earn a national call up. Somebody please help me??????

  • Mir on February 27, 2013, 6:57 GMT

    hopefully zimbabwe will learn something...

  • Dummy4 on February 27, 2013, 4:49 GMT

    Since im on the other side of the world maybe im missing somthing but i think Zimbabwe's biggest problem is selection. Why are Coventry n Chigumbura not in the middle order i think sibanda, Hammie, Taylor (c), Ervine, Waller, Conventry (wk), Chigumbura is yor best batting line up best techniques up top 3 good workers of the ball ( ervine n Waller ) then sum explosion at the end in coventry n elton then bowling where is rainsford easily best pace bowler n creamer shold be there to and why not pick querl he's figres are crazy i think querl n rainsford opening the bowling then bring on jarvis will give a better chance of early wickets then bring on the spinners like creamer and the 2 young leggies and build presure (rainsford, querl, jarvis, chatara, creamer, mushangwe and Mutombodzi) best bowling rotate depending on conditions but thats just what i think ??

  • Dummy4 on February 27, 2013, 3:57 GMT

    West Indies over the years have had struggles in One day international cricket and it is good to see that the players won this series 3-0, but west indies need to introduce more spin bowlers and medium pace bowlers in their side (zimbabwe) was using those bowlers and it helped them in terms of keeping a good start so we need to introduce not jus Right arm fast /medium but left arm spinners/pacers Dave Mohammed is a good example of what i am talking about, use bowlers that have his flight of the ball with bowlers like that we can beat big teams like Aus,sri lanka or Even South africa we jus have to invest

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2013, 23:42 GMT

    windies coming along we just gotta keep the faith. its about time.

  • Dummy4 on February 26, 2013, 22:30 GMT

    Zimbabwe team need to follow Bangladesh team steps. bcs few years back they r quite same type team and now see how Bangladesh team changed. even (Bangladesh) now they can beat any team in the world. and congratzz to westindies team for win the series although it was expected (y). and good luck to Zimbabwe team

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