Clean sweep

Darren Bravo led West Indies’ victory chase with an unbeaten 72.
Darren Bravo led West Indies’ victory chase with an unbeaten 72.

ST. GEORGE’S – West Indies duly completed a 3-0 One-Day International series whitewash against Zimbabwe defeating them by five wickets at the Grenada National Stadium today.

Zimbabwe had their second batting failure in three matches making 211 for 9 and their seamers lacked penetration again as West Indies eased to 215 for 5. The only positive for them was the performance of their young legspinners, Natsai Mushangwe and debutant Tino Mutombodzi. The duo kept West Indies’ progress in check after the seamers had failed to break through.

Both Mushangwe and Mutombodzi were eager to flight the ball. They also got it to dip, drift and turn, and displayed admirable control for 22-year old legspinners. Ramnaresh Sarwan and Kieran Powell had eased themselves to a 46-run opening stand against the steady fare of Kyle Jarvis and Chris Mpofu but were tested by the introduction of leg spin from both ends.

Mutombodzi struck with his third delivery in international cricket, getting one to drift into Sarwan for the batsman to push it back for a return catch. Powell used the sweep effectively against the spinners and also played a few pleasing drives through the off side, only to throw it away for the third time in three innings, lofting Mutombodzi to long-on while on 42.

Darren Bravo was cautious against the legspinners, but cut rare wide deliveries from both for fours. Both Mushangwe and Mutombodzi had already bowled seven overs each at the halfway mark, and Brendan Taylor had to bring on his part-time bowlers.Narsingh Deonarine and Darren Bravo were motoring along without worry when the former clipped Hamilton Masakadza straight to midwicket. Two deliveries later, Darren Bravo took a start for a second run, Kieron Pollard responded, only for the left-hander to stop, and for Pollard to be run out without having faced a ball.

Dwayne Bravo came in at 121 for 4 and his quick 25 eased West Indies’ nerves before he holed out to long-on. Denesh Ramdin joined Darren Bravo with West Indies 45 runs away, and the duo shut Zimbabwe out with a busy partnership.

The way the visitors had batted, it was quite a recovery with the ball for them to make a game of it. Zimbabwe went nowhere at the start, then began to find some direction, but soon sank further and further. Barring a short period when Vusi Sibanda and Brendan Taylor counter-attacked, they were tied down by a disciplined and varied West Indies attack.

Zimbabwe desperately needed some momentum after Tino Mawoyo and Masakadza went cheaply. It came from Sibanda and Taylor. Their stand was worth 55 at over run a ball, and Zimbabwe seemed to have made up for the tame start. But both batsmen were to fall in almost casual fashion. Sibanda tried to turn a Best delivery to leg, only for it to straighten slightly and for mid-off to take the leading edge. Taylor stepped out to loft the left-arm spinner Permaul, but ended up spooning it to cover. Permaul also accounted for Regis Chakabva and Malcolm Waller.

No. 7 Chibhabha was also uncomfortable against the spinners but retained his composure to target the seamers, especially Dwayne Bravo, later. With Kyle Jarvis willing to hang around, Chibhabha swung a few big hits down the ground to push Zimbabwe past 200 in a ninth-wicket stand of 41. But for an attack that had conceded 337 and failed to defend 273, 211 was too inadequate. (Cricinfo)††

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