Shivnarine Chanderpaul scored a cathartic 93 in his first match on home soil since being deposed as captain, and Fidel Edwards struck twice with his first four balls of the match, as West Indies toyed with and eventually overwhelmed a substandard Zimbabwe in the fourth ODI at Bourda, the last international ever to be played at the historic ground.
After conceding a massive 333 for 6, the highest total ever recorded in the Caribbean, Zimbabwe stodged their way to 251 for 7 in reply. Though they lifted their tempo as the innings progressed and did well to avoid being bowled out after slumping to 1 for 2, they never once threatened to approach the required run-rate. For the long-suffering crowd who turned out in spite of the grim weather forecasts, it might have been more fun to watch the rains come down again.
So West Indies wrapped up one of the more facile home series wins in their history. Faced with a battery of medium-pacers, none of whom could find a consistent line to compensate for their lack of menace, their batsmen had a licence to cash in and did so with alacrity, with the exception of Sewnarine Chattergoon, who was run out by a brilliant direct hit from Elton Chigumbura at point, and Marlon Samuels, who chose the wrong ball to deflect to third man.
Runako Morton led the onslaught with a muscular innings of 79 from 90 balls. The majority of his ten boundaries were bludgeoned through the leg side as he swung lustily at anything on a good length, and he even enjoyed a remarkable reprieve midway through his innings, when he had to be recalled from the depths of the dressing-room after replays showed that Zimbabwe's keeper, Brendan Taylor, had broken the stumps moments before Prosper Utseya's shy had caught Morton short of his ground.
Chanderpaul, however, was the star of the day. His reputation as a crabby and strokeless batsman ignores the fact that, on this very ground in 2002-03, he produced a 69-ball hundred in a Test against the Australians. Here, he was in his best improvisatory form, as he carted 10 fours and three sixes to all corners of the ground, the best of them an inside-out pull-sweep off Edward Rainsford that cleared the fine-leg boundary.
Rainsford had his revenge one ball later, but with Brian Lara blazing ten fours in a 45-ball 56, most of them through the covers, including eight in the space of four manic overs, Zimbabwe had no place to hide. Dwayne Smith applied a typically ferocious coup de grace, as West Indies added 68 runs in the last six overs.
If 334 seemed an improbable target, then Edwards soon made a mockery of any faint Zimbabwean hopes. His first ball was full, fast and swinging, and splattered Piet Rinke's stumps as he was turned hopelessly inside-out; his fourth fizzed across the bows of Terry Duffin and grazed the edge through to the keeper. Both men had made golden ducks, and at 1 for 2, there was only pride to play for.
But West Indies' own failings were exposed thereafter, as Edwards' success brought out the worst in his pumped-up pace partner, Tino Best. Best began with an awful over containing five wides as he strained too hard to blast through the middle order, and a change of ends didn't help either, as Taylor uppercut a second-ball bouncer for six over third man.
Zimbabwe's innings was a curious blend of watchful defence laced with some extravagant attacking strokeplay, as if to confirm that the patient still had a pulse. If, however, it helps to develop a new generation of international cricketers to replace the men that have been sidelined in recent years, then this series will have been worthwhile.
To that end, the efforts of Vusi Sibanda and Elton Chigumbura were to be commended. Both made half-centuries, with Chigumbura top-scoring with 61 from 59 deliveries including a vast six off Best to bring up his fifty. Morton eventually ended his fun with a fine take at midwicket off Edwards, whereupon Blessing Mahwire took up the cudgels to ensure that Zimbabwe went down fighting. But the eventual margin of 82 runs flattered them. West Indies may be a side down on their luck at present, but their woes are as nothing compared to Zimbabwe's.
Sewnarine Chattergoon run out (Chigumbura) 9 (36 for 1)
Attempted quick single, excellent pick-up and shy from point
Brian Lara c Taylor b Mupariwa 56 (145 for 2)
Tried to run down to third man, straight to keeper
Runako Morton c Rainsford b Utseya 79 (166 for 3)
Miscued lofted drive to long off
Ramnaresh Sarwan c Coventry b Rinke 40 (249 for 4)
Holed out to long on
Marlon Samuels b Chibabha 9 (280 for 5)
Got too clever with a straight ball, lost off stump
Shivnarine Chanderpaul b Rainsford 93 (312 for 6)
Played inside line of slower ball
Piet Rinke b Edwards 0 (0 for 1)
Full-length and swinging, stumps splattered
Terry Duffin c Ramdin b Edwards 0 (1 for 2)
Chased a bit of width, thin edge
Brendan Taylor lbw b Smith 26 (55 for 3)
Wicket to wicket, trapped in front
Justice Chibhabha b Samuels 40 (114 for 4)
Vusi Sibanda b Best 52 (145 for 5)
Angled in, snaked between bat and pad
Charles Coventry b Samuels 12 (184 for 6)
Swing and a miss
Elton Chigumbura c Morton b Edwards 61 (227 for 7)
Slapped to midwicket
Andrew Miller is UK editor of Cricinfo