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West Indies goes 2-1 up!

West Indies goes 2-1 up!

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The struggling and inconsistent West Indies gave their yearning fans something to smile about when they pounded Zimbabwe by 141 runs last Wednesday in the Third Digicel One Day International.{{more}}

The picturesque Arnos Vale Playing Field here in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, a happy hunting ground for the regional side, saw victory number 15 of the 18 One-Day Internationals played at the venue that dates back to February 1981.

A solid batting performance by the West Indies after being put in by the Zimbabweans got them to 245 for 9 off their 50 overs.

Shivnarine Chanderpaul hit two fours and a six, to be the West Indies topscorer with 58 .

Openers Adrian Barath, 35, and Captain Chris Gayle, 33, were the other main contributors in the West Indies total.

A juggling of the batting order saw wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin who was dumped for the second match in Guyana last Saturday batting at number four. Ramdin, though, scored 19, and all rounder Dwayne Bravo, who returned to the fold after a finger injury early in February, contributed 24.

The other flicker from the middle order saw Narsighn Deonarine hitting 21 .

Elton Chigumbura, 2 for 43, and Prosper Utseya, 2 for 47, were Zimbabwe’s lead bowlers.

The Zimbabweans had a promising second wicket stand of 51 between Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza, after fast bowler Kemar Roach had yorked Vusi Sibanda with the third ball .

But Darren Sammy creamed off the top of their batting as the Zimbabweans slumped to 58 for 5. Sammy struck in each of his first three overs.

It was all over barred the shouting as the heart of the visitors batting was back in the comfort of the pavilion. Zimbabwe succumbed in the 32nd over for 104.

Sammy finished with career best figures of 4 for 26, as was the obvious choice of Man of the Match. He missed the opportunity of becoming the first West Indian to take five wicket hauls in all three forms of the game, Test, ODI and T/20.

He was a whisker away from it, but Gayle spilled a catch, to deny him the feat.

The St. Lucian said after the match that he tried putting the ball in the right spots and used the seam, as the Arnos Vale pitch contained some grass, much to his aid.

Roach chimed in with 3 for 28 and Bravo 2 for 23. Masakadza finished the topscorer with 35.

Last Wednesday’s win also broke the drought of the West Indies being able to put together back to back wins.

The win and other aspects of the match pleased President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Cricket Association Julian Jack, who told SEARCHLIGHT that he was happy that the pitch played well enough according to reports both from the television and radio commentators.

Jack, while satisfied that there was a fair sized crowd on Wednesday, granted it was mid week, is urging Vincentians to turn out in their numbers, and pack the venue for the fourth and fifth matches, today, Friday, March 12, and Sunday, March 14, as this country enjoys rare three back to back matches. (RT)

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