ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Round 1, Group B, West Indies v Zimbabwe: Alzarri Joseph's 4-16, Jason Holder's 3-12 and Sikandar Raza's 3-19 are top performances. West Indies beat Zimbabwe by 31 runs and jump to third position in Points table.
Brief Scores: West Indies 153/7 (Charles 45, Powell 28, Raza 3/19) beat Zimbabwe 122 (Jongwe 29, Madhevere 27, Joseph 4/16, Holder 3/12) by 31 runs
Player of the Match: Alzarri Joseph (4/16 in his four overs)
Two-time world champions West Indies who slipped in their first game against Scotland took on confident looking Zimbabwe who had a dominating first game against Ireland. The fourth Group B game of the first round of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 was held at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
In head-to-head fixtures in this format, West Indies have won two games while Zimbabwe had to be satisfied with one victory.
Bowlers again covered for weak display by batters
One of the main issues of late for the West Indies has been their poor shot selection and approach with bat in hand. In the last few months, they haven’t been consistent in this department of the game. Even on Wednesday evening, it was the bowlers who pulled them back in the game with their accurate bowling.
The batters began well in their innings, but again lost the path somewhere in the middle. If they want to improve themselves and get back their old flavour in this format of the game, then the batters really need to polish their skills with consistent practice as soon as possible.
West Indies stay alive with essential victory
West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran on winning the toss opted to bat first. In Craig Ervine’s absence, Zimbabwe, who were led by Regis Chakabva, added Tony Munyonga while West Indies made a forced change by bringing Johnson Charles in place of Bradon King.
Deciding to bat first, the West Indies batters began well in the powerplay scoring 49/1 in six overs before reaching 74/1 in nine overs. But the Zimbabwe spinners led by Sikandar Raza pulled the opponents back as at the end of 14 overs the West Indies were reduced to 101/6. Later, some massive blows from Rovman Powell carried them to 153/7 in their allotted 20 overs.
Chasing this target, Zimbabwe began on a positive note with 29/0 on the board in 2.2 overs before some poor shot selection pushed them back to 79/6 in the eleventh over. Wickets falling at regular intervals decreased the run rate too as Zimbabwe were bundled out for 122 gifting West Indies a 31-run victory.
Let’s scan the top three performances from the game between West Indies and Zimbabwe in ICC T20 World Cup 2022.
Sikandar Raza punctured West Indies with 3/19
Coming into the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022, Sikandar Raza is Zimbabwe’s most important player, almost carrying the batting department on his lone shoulders and in their opening game against Ireland, Raza carried his purple vein with a fantastic 82-run knock. He played a different role in this game, however.
The West Indies were going well at 74/1 in nine overs when offie Sikandar Raza came in to bowl his second over after conceding just five in his opening over. With the fourth ball of his second over, Raza bagged Evin Lewis on 15 who in an attempt to pull the ball miscued it as the long-on fielder grabbed a simple catch.
In his last over, Raza picked up two crucial wickets; first he trapped Sharmah Brooks before the stumps for naught, with a flat and straight ball that skid past the inside edge to hit Brooks on his back leg. With the last over of his spell, Raza caged ‘big fish’ Jason Holder on a personal score of 4, who chipped the ball straight back to the bowler who took a fine return catch.
Raza who now has 32 T20I wickets in 60 games, finished with 3/19 in his four overs.
Expressive Alzarri Joseph blew away Zimbabwe with 4/16
Alzarri Joseph was in great touch in the recently concluded Caribbean Premier League (CPL) as the highest wicket-taker with 18 wickets in 10 games. He began with 2/28 in four overs in the opening game too.
The opponents went off to a wild start with 29/0 in the first two overs when Joseph was introduced into the attack. With his second delivery, Joseph broke the furniture of Regis Chakabva on 13 who got an inside edge onto the stumps. In his next over with a yorker, he bagged his second scalp in the form of Tony Munyonga (2) who had no answer to a thunder-bolt of a delivery.
When Joseph was reinstalled into the attack in the 16th over, he struck again with his third ball sending back Richard Ngarava (2) who was late to take his bat down before the ball burst through his middle and leg stump.
Coming back in his last over with another cracking yorker, Joseph crashed the middle stumps of the last main threat to West Indies, Luke Jongwe on 29 to finish with 4/16 in his four overs. Joseph now has 16 T20I wickets in nine games at a merciless strike rate of 13.5.
Jason Holder made valuable contribution with 3/12
Even though West Indies picked up three wickets in the powerplay, Zimbabwe were still scoring at a healthy rate being on 55/3 in the first six overs. Being a veteran in the West Indies squad, Jason Holder had a job on his shoulders and he didn’t disappoint the Caribbean supporters.
In his very first over, Holder deposited the wicket of Zimbabwe opener Wesley Madhevere (27) who cut a short ball straight to the backward point region, where Evin Lewis leaped to grab a perfect catch.
When he came back for his third over, Holder trapped Ryan Burl before the stumps with an excellent slower ball that was crashing into the batter’s middle stumps as the huge blow almost sealed the game for his team. Later, he finished the game with the wicket of Tendai Chatara who saw his stumps flying.
Jason Holder who finished with 3/12 in his 3.2 overs, now has 51 T20I wickets in 48 games at an impressive strike rate of 19.2.
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Group B Points Table
Points Table Scenario & What’s Next
All four teams are tied at 2 points apiece after the completion of four matches in Group B. It is a straightforward equation for all the teams as victory in their last group fixtures will catapult them to the Super 12 stage.
In these must win games which are scheduled to be held on October 21, first the West Indies will face Ireland, after which Zimbabwe will meet Scotland in the evening. Both games will be played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
The only dampener for Zimbabwe fans could be that there is greater chance of rain on Friday evening in Hobart, and the African side has a net run rate (NRR) of 0 which might work against them if their game against Scotland ends up as a washout. Table leaders Scotland have an NRR of 0.759 which gives them a better chance of making it to the Super 12 if rain does hurt prospects of a result in that game.
West Indies have an NRR of -0.275 which is slightly better than Ireland’s NRR of -0.468.