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Tri-Series 2016, Zimbabwe v West Indies, Match 6 Review: Raingods take Zimbabwe to the finals

rain
Groundsmen bring on the covers as play is stopped due to rain. (Photo by JEKESAI NJIKIZANA/AFP/Getty Images)

Tendai Chisori’s all-round performance, Sikander Raza’s fighting half-century and a little grace from the rain gods paved the way for Zimbabwe to fix a date with Sri Lanka in the final of the Tri-nation series. The win certainly belongs to the rains and Zimbabwe fans should look up to the heavens with full hearts.

Batting in response to a modest target of 219 runs, the West Indies batsman failed to get an upper hand over the Zimbabwean bowlers and eventually saw themselves five runs short of the D/L score at the time rain interrupted three balls into the 27th over.

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Batting first on a gloomy day at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe failed to put up an appreciable batting performance and crumbled badly to the spin of Devendra Bishoo and Ashley Nurse.

The spinning duo shared three wickets each and triggered a collapse to reduce the batting side to 89/7 in the match which was already reduced to a 49 overs aside contest. At this stage, the game looked like an one-sided affair before Sikander Raza (76*) and tail-ender Tendai Chisoro (42) rescued the hosts from an embarrassing position and took the team total past the 200 runs mark.

Zimbabwe began steadily and reached 48 in 11 over, losing only their opener Chibhabha at that time. But soon rain caused a delay and held up the play for almost an hour and hurt the home side’s momentum so badly that they lost a cluster of wickets in short span of overs. Hamilton Masakadza fell to Bishoo just three balls straight after the resumption. The leg spinner then cleaned up Brian Chari, before Nurse dismissed left-handers Craig Ervine and Sean Williams in a single over to leave Zimbabwe 63 for five.

Wicket keeper Peter Moor and Graeme Cremer also lost their wicket cheaply as Zimbabwe lost six wickets for 41 runs in 15 overs after the rain delay. But, a dim light of hope was shining in the form of Raza. He found support in Donald Tiripano, with whom he scores 38 for the eighth wicket in a counter-attacking display of batting.

Later, Tendai Chisoro joined him in an unbeaten match defining stand of 92 runs to set a new record for ninth-wicket stands by Zimbabwe in ODIs. A 200 plus score was only possible due to their attacking batting towards the end where they creamed 50 runs from the final five overs.

Brief Scores:

Zimbabwe: 218/8 (Sikander Raza 76; Asley Nurse 3/27)

West Indies: 124/5 in 27.5 (Jonathan Carter 43*; Sean Williams 2/18)

Man of the Match: Tendai Chisoro

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