Zimbabwe and Bangladesh gave a poor account of themselves in their Group A and Group B match against New Zealand and West Indies respectively. The abysmal display left them ruing the lost opportunity to garner two valuable points that would have made their quarter final entry that much more easier. On the other hand, New Zealand and West Indies got those two points and would now fancy their chances.
At the Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad, Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat first. The pitch had some early life as Zimbabwe’s batsmen struggled against the New Zealand seam attack and soon found themselves at 27/2 in the 8th over as Charles Coventry was run out by a direct hit from Hamish Bennett fielding at mid on and Tatenda Taibu was trapped in front of the crease by a Tim Southee delivery that angled back into him.
It was the bowling Powerplay that severely dented Zimbabwe. In the space of four runs, they lost three wickets. Craig Ervine threw his wicket away playing straight to the fielder at backward point, Elton Chigumbura was given out leg before wicket even though replays suggested that the 2.5 meter rule would apply and Regis Chakabva edged to Ross Taylor at slip.
Brendan Taylor was looking confident and playing well amidst this carnage. He added a valuable 40 runs for the sixth wicket with an unusually aggressive Greg Lamb. However, both the batsmen were dismissed within three runs of each other as Zimbabwe slid further. Only a face saving performance from the tail enabled Zimbabwe to post 162 as the last three wickets added 73 runs. Tim Southee picked three wickets while Kyle Mills and skipper Daniel Vettori picked two apiece.
The very first over of the chase signalled New Zealand’s intentions. A four to square leg, a six over long on and a straight drive for four fetched 14 runs. The openers started off against the spinners very carefully, though. But soon runs began flowing easily and New Zealand romped home in the 34th over.
New Zealand will now focus on two tough matches against Pakistan and Sri Lanka with an easy game against Canada sandwiched between. Their batting display today would have gladdened the hearts of their supporters. Zimbabwe will have their task cut out as they meet Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Kenya in their remaining matches to try and secure a place in the quarter final.
The encounter between Bangladesh and West Indies was being billed as a big game for both teams as they knew a win would enhance their chances of making the quarter finals of the tournament. Bangladesh captain Shakib Al Hasan won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. What was to follow was absolutely shocking.
Tamim Iqbal chased a wide ball outside off stump from Kemar Roach to give Darren Sammy, the West Indies skipper an easy catch at slip. Imrul Kayes failed to move his feet and the half hearted dab was taken by wicket keeper Devon Thomas gleefully. Mushfiqur Rahim followed suit by flicking straight to midwicket. Junaid Siddique, who had played well till then, was trapped in front of the stumps by a full delivery from Roach.
Shakib started with an ominous boundary but failed to get on the front foot against a Sulieman Benn delivery that turned after pitching and lost his stumps. Raqibul Hasan slashed to Kieron Pollard at point and Naeem Islam was caught behind the stumps off a flighted delivery from Benn. Mohammad Ashraful, the home side’s last hope, couldn’t cope with the extra pace of a Roach delivery and edged behind. Shafiul Islam tried to carve a ball from Benn between slip and gully but only ended up giving a catch to the fielder at gully. Rubel Hossain was bowled neck and crop by a full Benn delivery.
All this happened in a matter of 18.5 overs as Bangladesh folded for 58 runs. West Indies duly chased the target in the 13th over, with the wicket of Devon Smith a minor aberration. Bangladesh was shamed in front of their home crowd and will need to do some serious introspection on their batting against the West Indies attack which used only three bowlers.
This was only the second win for West Indies in their last 11 one-day internationals and they will look forward to carry the confidence against Ireland, England and India. Bangladesh wasted a wonderful opportunity for two points and will now have to win all their remaining matches and pray that Ireland does not win any.