West Indies v Zimbabwe, 1st T20I, Antigua

Zimbabwe aim for surprise in shortest format

The Preview by Siddhartha Talya

March 1, 2013

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Match facts

March 2, 2013
Start time 1400 local (1800 GMT)


Malcolm Waller top-scored with 51 for Zimbabwe, West Indies v Zimbabwe, 1st ODI, Grenada, February 22, 2013
Malcolm Waller can deliver for Zimbabwe in the middle order © WICB Media/Randy Brooks Photo
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Big Picture

The scoreline may read 3-0 but West Indies' dominance also had to do with Zimbabwe's own sloppiness in the ODI series. The visitors suffered for the lack of depth in their bowling attack but made it worse by conceding too many after looking good in short bursts. For what is a good fielding side, simple run-out chances were missed, and the batsmen struggled to read Sunil Narine.

The result may have been along expected lines in the 50-over format, and a tougher challenge awaits them in a two-Test series, but the T20s may offer them the best chance to cause an upset. They were unable to cause any during the World Twenty20 last year but, though they are up against the champions in the format, they do possess some firepower in their batting to make an impact. West Indies play their first T20 international in the Caribbean after winning the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Form guide

Zimbabwe: LLLLL
West Indies: WWWWW

In the spotlight

Malcolm Waller is one of Zimbabwe's batsmen who can accelerate. He looked good in the ODI series, scoring a half-century and then getting some quick runs in the middle order, including two sixes, in the second ODI. He has a healthy strike-rate of 84 in the ODI format but is yet to do something significant with the bat in the shortest version.

Guyana allrounder Christopher Barnwell has made it to the West Indies squad after 17 months. He was impressive in the Caribbean T20, making 245 runs in eight games and taking six wickets.

Team news

There's no Kieran Powell in the West Indies squad so Lendl Simmons could get a chance to open. Shannon Gabriel and Barnwell have made it to the squad based on their performances in the Caribbean T20 and West Indies captain Darren Sammy said they are likely to get a go in the XI in at least one game out of the two this series. Antigua has been a venue favourable for spinners, Sammy said; both Narine and legspinner Samuel Badree were expected to make the starting XI, he added.

West Indies (possible): 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Kieron Pollard, 5 Dwayne Bravo, 6 Darren Sammy (capt), 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Andre Russell, 9 Christopher Barnwell/Shannon Gabriel/Tino Best, 10 Samuel Badree, 11 Sunil Narine.

Zimbabwe have retained the same squad for the Twenty20s.

Zimbabwe (squad) : Vusi Sibanda, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor (capt), Craig Ervine, Malcolm Waller, Regis Chakabva, Chamu Chibhabha, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Natsai M'Shangwe, Kyle Jarvis, Chris Mpofu.

Stats and trivia

  • It was nine years ago that Tino Best made his Test debut, but he has played just one T20 international in all that time - earlier this year in Brisbane.
  • Prosper Utseya has an impressive economy rate in T20 internationals, of 6.74 in 20 games. He does even better in T20s overall, with 6.43 in 69 matches. .

Quotes

"The key to bowling in T20 cricket is consistency and that helps to build the pressure on batsmen. I will look to maintain the pressure we have created."
Samuel Badree, the West Indies legspinner

Siddhartha Talya is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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