West Indies finished with a mammoth total of 372 on the board, the fifth highest team total in World Cups. In fact, they have posted above 300 in all of their three games so far. The credit for this total goes to Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who put up the highest partnership in ODI history for any wicket.
At the start of the innings, Zimbabwe were terrific, with Panyangara snaring the wicket of Dwayne Smith on the second ball of the innings. Chris Gayle then survived a close lbw review later in the same over. The West Indian batsmen struggled initially to get bat on ball but eventually managed to steady the ship. Zimbabwe, who were able to keep them quiet in the middle overs, failed to sustain the momentum for long.
Gayle brought up his fifty, subsequently also crossing 9000 ODI runs. He became only the second West Indian, after Brian Lara to achieve this landmark. Samuels, who looked streaky initially, got going once he went past his fifty as well. West Indies accelerated in the third over of the batting powerplay and never looked back since then. They scored 55 runs in the powerplay and kept hammering the bowlers ruthlessly from there on.
The highlight of the innings was no doubt, the burly Chris Gayle, who became the only non-Indian batsman to get a double hundred in ODIs. This, by the way, is the fastest double ton in ODIs and also the highest individual score in World Cups. The intimidating Jamaican smashed 10 fours and 16 humongous sixes, thoroughly destroying Zimbabwe’s bowling attack.
West Indies scored 152 runs in the last 10 overs to finish on this monstrous total. For Zimbabwe, except Sikandar Raza, all bowlers went for over 6 an over. The duo of Gayle and Samuels completely spoiled the figures of the remaining bowlers, who had enjoyed a decent run until the powerplay; Gayle scoring a massive 215 runs.
Chasing a gigantic total of 373 was never going to be easy. Zimbabwe stuttered in the second over itself, with Chakabva falling to Holder on review. The rain paid a visit soon after, disrupting play for a while. The match was then reduced to 48-overs and the target for Zimbabwe was revised to 363 on the basis of the D/L/S method.
Coming onto bat after the rain delay, Zimbabwe lost Hamilton Masakadza and Sikandar Raza in a space of three overs. A collapse seemed imminent but, Brendan Taylor and Sean Williams combined beautifully to put up 80 runs for the fourth wicket. Taylor was unlucky to be given out on 37. He was caught behind off Samuels, but the ball had in fact brushed his forearm and not the bat. Williams continued with the good work and brought up his 19th ODI fifty in the process. Just when things had started to look good for Zimbabwe, he perished on 76, giving Holder his third wicket of the game.
Ervine fought bravely at the other end but the ‘man of the day’ Christopher Henry Gayle removed him on 52. He then took Matsikenyeri’s wicket and snaffled Chigumbura’s catch off Taylor’s bowling. Zimbabwe approached the chase remarkably well but with too much expected from them, it was only a matter of time before they were bowled out on 289. They scored at over 6 an over, however, West Indies’ mammoth total meant that their pace was never enough to chase this down.
Chris Gayle was given Man of the Match award for his spectacular display with bat and ball.
West Indies- 372 for 2 in 50 overs.
Zimbabwe- 289 for 10 in 44.3 overs.