Windies Are One Step Closer to 2019 World Cup
Windies Are One Step Closer to 2019 World Cup, CricketHighlights
by Kristina Newsam, MyCricketHighlights Writer
West Indies are so close to qualifying for the World Cup, they can taste it. With an increasingly insatiable appetite for victory, the Windies claimed a 4-wicket win over Zimbabwe despite a 290-run chase target and a monumental score of 138 runs by veteran, Brendan Taylor, in Zimbabwe’s innings. It took a consistent effort by the Windies batsmen, but they pulled through to record their 5th highest successful ODI chase.
Taylor Stars for Zimbabwe with 138 Runs
Following the premature dismissals of Zimbabwe’s first two openers, Solomon Mire held on tightly to his position, fending off discouragement following the departure of five more of his compatriots, before he himself fell in the 48th over with 45 runs to his name. Opposing captain, Jason Holder, delivered a yorker that would’ve gained the admiration of supporters and critics alike. Mire perhaps failed to give the shot enough respect and attempted a gallant swing, but was greeted by the frightening sound of crashing stumps shortly after.
The burden of keeping the hope alive was then shifted unto the shoulders of Brendon Taylor, who managed to maintain a 49-run partnership with Craig Ervine, a 76-run stand with Sean Williams, and a joint 79 runs with Sikandar Raza. He did all this while racking up his own individual tally, ending his journey with a spectacular 138 runs. Thus, the Windies breathed a collective sigh of relief when they were finally able to find a weak spot in the 43rd over.
Taylor mishit a firecracker from Kemar Roach, slicing it and directing it towards Ashley Nurse at cover. He left the grounds to the sound of thunderous applause for an innings well played.
Samuels & Hope Elevate Windies’ Chances
Nothing was ever written in stone, as a chase target of 290 runs was never going to be an easy thing to overcome. What made things even worse was that Zimbabwe began their bout with the ball by doing away with Chris Gayle for just 17 runs in the 5th over.
Blessing Muzarabani angled one short and across, luring Gayle into the trap of going after it with an agricultural chop, causing the ball to fly off the outside edge of his bat, and to Kyle Jarvis at third man.
Evin Lewis would then do his part to pick up the proverbial slack, partnering with the man with Hope in his name, establishing a joint 72-run venture; but it was the partnership that immediately followed—between Shai Hope and Marlon Samuels—that led the Windies to hope beyond all hope, and finally grasp the vision of being able to surmount the grand total set by their opponents.
The pair put on 135 runs together, with Samuels accounting for 80 of those runs before being dismissed in the 43rd over; while Hope remained for one more over, ending on 76.
Rovman Powell showed his invaluable position once more, by holding the tail in firm enough position with 15 runs, to ensure the West Indies would not fall short.
With yet another win under their belt, the Windies are now set to face Scotland on March 21, with the effervescent hope of qualifying for 2019, bubbling closer and closer to the surface of reality.