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The unwanted hat-trick that wasn't

The all-round efforts of Sikandar Raza and Tendai Chisoro, and a litany of errors from West Indies in the field were among the plays from the last round-robin clash

Sirish Raghavan
Sikandar Raza clips one to the leg side, Zimbabwe v West Indies, tri-series, Bulawayo, November 25, 2016

Sikandar Raza benefited from an errant throw to the keeper after a mid-pitch mix-up with Donald Tiripano  •  AFP

Cummins' horror over
West Indies had made a reasonable start in spite of some loose deliveries and sloppy fielding. Zimbabwe were 24 for 1 after six overs. But Miguel Cummins released some of the pressure. Off the second ball of the seventh over, Cummins' leg-stump half-volley was flicked by Hamilton Masakadza for a boundary past mid-on. He followed that with three deliveries he would like to forget.The first was a no-ball that was punched to through cover point. He overstepped again, this time it was a full toss that was creamed to the point boundary. Cummins overstepped again on the following delivery, but the umpire did not spot it. Instead, he extended both his arms to signal a wide, and the free-hit was carried forward once again.
The lucky misfield
In the 19th over, Craig Ervine dabbed a ball from Ashley Nurse in the direction of short third man, where a misfield allowed the batsmen to come back for two. That brought Ervine back on strike. On the very next delivery, Ervine was beaten by a ball that turned past his outside edge and struck him plumb in front. The wicket went down against Nurse's name but the errant fielder at short third man might like to think he played his part in it.
The comedy of errors
Zimbabwe's innings had already featured a big mix-up and a loose overthrow that gifted runs. The last ball of the 31st over combined both, to comical effect. Donald Tiripano worked a delivery from Nurse to mid-on and set off for a run. But the sliding stop sowed some doubt in the mind of non-striker Sikandar Raza, who hesitated a bit, leaving both batsmen mid-pitch. A run-out seemed inevitable, but the throw to the wicketkeeper was so wide that even a despairing dive was not enough to reach it; the ball went past him and away from the fielders backing up. Meanwhile, the batsmen scampered through for one of the more chaotic singles conceivable.
The opening bowlers
Only twice before this match had Zimbabwe opened with spin at both ends. Perhaps the rearguard ninth-wicket stand between Raza and Tendai Chisoro inspired Graeme Cremer to make it three. Zimbabwe's stars with the bat shared the new ball, but with roles reversed. Here, Chisoro was the senior partner, nipping out two batsmen in his first two overs, while Raza played a capable supporting act. Together, the two men continued the work they had started with the bat, tilting the balance ever more in Zimbabwe's favour.

Sirish Raghavan is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo