Joseph, Holder keep West Indies alive in World T20
SUMMARY: West Indies 153-7 from 20 overs (Johnson Charles 45, Rovman Powell 28, Akeal Hosein 23*; Sikandar Raza 3-19, Blessing Muzarabani 2-38) vs Zimbabwe 122 all out from 18.2 overs (Luke Jongwe 29, Wessly Madhevere 27; Alzarri Joseph 4-16, Jason Holder 3-12)
West Indies set a target of 154 for Zimbabwe to chase down and then bowled them out for 122 to sneak in a crucial win in their T20 World Cup encounter at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart on Wednesday.
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Sikandar Raza show all over again
West Indies started well despite losing Kyle Mayers early, with Johnson Charles and Evin Lewis establishing a vital stand. The introduction of spin though caused much damage, with a flurry of wickets then going down.
Sikandar Raza did the bulk of the damage, ending with figures of 3-19 in his four overs. He broke the stand between Lewis and Charles, with the wicket of the opener. Charles also departed for 45 after a mix-up with Rovman Powell, leading to a run-out.
West Indies were struggling at 101-6, but a late flourish from Powell and Akeal Hosein allowed them to post a score of 153-7. Powell made 28, while Hosein was unbeaten on 23.
Zimbabwe skipper absent
Earlier, in a must-win encounter, West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran called it right at the toss and opted to bat first. The West Indies made one forced change, with Johnson Charles coming in for Brandon King in the batting order.
Zimbabwe were also forced into a change, with skipper Craig Ervine missing the contest due to an illness. Regis Chakabva captained the side in his absence, with Tony Munyonga replacing him in the side.
West Indies fight after fabulous start from Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe started off optimistically, knocking off 18 runs in the first over by Kyle Mayers and 11 runs in the next by Akeal Hosein. The introduction of Alzarri Joseph reaped rewards for the West Indies as the tall quick picked up two wickets in his first two overs.
Obed McCoy added another in the last over of the Powerplay and Zimbabwe were suddenly in a spot of bother. Raza came out all guns blazing, smashing a six early in his innings, but a wild heave off Odean Smith shortly after forced him to take a long walk back.
Akeal Hosein sent back Milton Shumba while the dangerous Ryan Burl was trapped in front by Jason Holder to dent Zimbabwe further. A late fight back from Luke Jongwe was put to an end by Alzarri Joseph, who picked up 4-16, each of his dismissals splattering the stumps.
Holder picked up 3-12.
The net run rate factor
The late burst from Jongwe, where he hit 17 runs off one Odean Smith over, allowed Zimbabwe to get closer to the West Indies target even if they lost.
In a group where net run rate will likely become a factor later on, Scotland and Zimbabwe are in the top two with West Indies and Ireland following them. All four teams have two points apiece. (ICC)
,My heartiest congratulations go out to you boys. We are all proud of you. Keep up the good work. We are with you in good times as well as in bad times. I especially congratulate Messrs. Joseph, Holder and Charles for their sterling contributions.