Gayle leads Windies to crucial victory

Zimbabwe failed to successfully defend a target score of 207 yesterday, as Gayle collected the top score of 88 from 111 balls and Deonarine supported with 65 from 85 balls.

The result brought West Indies level 1-1 in the five-match series, after Zimbabwe won the opener on Thursday at the same venue.It was also West Indies' first victory over international opposition, since a depleted side prevailed over Bangladesh by five runs in a Twenty20 International last August in St. Kitts.

"This is a big relief," said West Indies captain Gayle. "Hopefully, this is the first of many to come."I must commend Zimbabwe about the way they have gone about their business in this series. They have played some good cricket, and they have put us under a lot of pressure.

"It wasn't an easy game, but I am happy that we rebounded, and we won this game. Hopefully, we can carry on for the remainder of the series."Elton Chigumbura had struck five fours in 50 from 72 balls, as Zimbabwe were dismissed for 206 in 49.5 overs after they decided to bat.

The Zimbabweans batting was dismantled by left-arm spinner Nikita Miller with a career-best spell of four wickets for 43 runs from 10 overs, and fast bowler Kemar Roach with three for 37 from 9.5 overs.Zimbabwe appeared to have taken control of the match, when West Indies declined to 85 for four in the 26th over in their chase.

The Zimbabwean spin bowlers were again squeezing the life out of the West Indies batting, when Deonarine joined fellow left-hander Gayle.But the visitors could not maintain their hold on the match, as Deonarine, in particular, and Gayle gradually loosened their grip in a stand of 83 for the fifth wicket.

But leg-spinner Graeme Cremer had Gayle stumped with West Indies still needing 39 to get from the last 49 balls.When Price had Kieron Pollard caught at long-on three overs later, Zimbabwe were on their toes, and West Indies were on the edge of their seats.
But this time, there was no late drama, as Darren Sammy hit Price to long-off for four to seal the victory.

"We just believed that if we could keep bowling in partnerships, we could upset them," said Zimbabwe captain Prosper Utseya.

"The ball started to turn [for our spinners], and it was also keeping low. But we just did not have enough runs on the board to keep up the pressure."

The two sides now travel to the island of St. Vincent for the remaining three ODIs on March 10, 12, and 14.

Hamilton Masakadza      c Miller b Roach      14
Vusi Sibanda                       run out     5
Brendan Taylor               lbw b Gayle      47
Tatenda Taibu      c Chanderpaul b Miller     31
Stuart Matsikenyeri      c Gayle b Miller      2
Greg Lamb                  c and b Miller     23
Elton Chigumbura     c Deonarine b Roach      50
Graeme Cremer                    b Miller     17
Prosper Utseya                     not out     6
Ray Price                        b Roach       0
Chris Mpofu                        run out     0
Extras: (B-1, LB-5, W-5)                      11
TOTAL: (all out, 49.5 overs)                 206
Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-34, 3-93, 4-100, 5-107, 6-180, 7-183, 8-205, 9-206,
Bowling: Kemar Roach 9.5-0-37-3, David Bernard 4-1-22-0, Sulieman Benn 9-1-37-0, Darren Sammy 5-0-17-0, Chris Gayle 10-0-25-1, Nikita Miller 9-0-43-4, Kieron Pollard 3-0-19-0.

West Indies:
Chris Gayle                   b Cremer     88
Adrian Barath             lbw b Price       7
David Bernard        st Taibu b Price       1
Shivnarine Chanderpaul    lbw b Lamb       10
Andre Fletcher                b Cremer      0
Narsingh Deonarine              not out    65
Kieron Pollard      c Sibanda b Taylor      7
Darren Sammy                    not out     9
Extras: (LB-4, W-16, NB-1)                 21
TOTAL: (for six wickets, 47.5 overs)      208
Fall of wickets: 1-44, 2-47, 3-82, 4-85, 5-168, 6-187.
Bowling: Prosper Utseya 10-0-53-0, Ray Price 8.5-0-31-2, Chris Mpofu 4-1-30-0, Greg Lamb 10-2-23-1, Graeme Cremer 10-0-44-2, Stuart Matsikenyeri 2-0-8-0, Elton Chigumbura 2-0-9-0, Brendan Taylor 1-0-6-1. 

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