Darren Bravo scored a quick-fire 71-ball 100 getting to his maiden ton off the last ball of the innings. (WICB Media)
Grenada: West Indies registered a thumping victory against the lowly Zimbabwe by 156 runs in the 1st ODI of the three-match series here on Friday at Grenada. After posting an imposing 337, the hosts managed to restrict Zimbabwe to 181 for 9 in 50 overs.
After being put into bat by Zimbabwe captain Brendon Taylor, West Indies were propelled by centuries from Darren Bravo (100 off 71 balls) and Johnson Charles (130 off 111 balls). The openers Charles and Kieran Powell (79) had compiled a 168-run stand for the opening wicket in just 172 ball as they pummelled the Zimbabwe bowling line-up all around the park.
Christopher Mpofu picked up the wicket of Powell in the 29th over as he tried to pull a short one from the bowler straight to deep midwicket, where Craig Ervine took a neat catch. Charles then joined forces with Darren Bravo for an 80-run stand in just 62 balls before he departed for a well made 130 of 111 balls. Mpofu was the wicket-taker.
Andrew Russell and Dwayne Bravo tried to get quick runs but got out in quick succession with spinner Natsai M'shangwe removing Russell and Kyle Jarvis accounting for Dwayne Bravo. Darren Bravo, at the other end, opened up as he got to his maiden ODI hundred off the last ball of the innings helping West Indies score 337 for 4 in 50 overs.
In reply, Zimbabwe were behind the 8-ball right from the word go losing their top four batsmen with just 34 runs on the board. Sunil Narine accounted for two of the four wickets to fall early as the West Indian bowlers bowled with a lot of discipline. Craig Ervine and Malcolm Waller put up a brief fight compiling a 58-run stand before Ervine went after a wide delivery outside off finding the man at short extra cover.
Waller though continued to put up some resistance with a very dogged approach. Waller opened up a bit when batting powerplay was taken and got to his 4th ODI fifty off 71 balls. Though, he got out in the next over as he drove a full length delivery on the up straight to extra cover. Windies went on to scalped three more wickets but former captain Prosper Utseya played out a maiden final over to ensure that Zimbabwe were not all out as they ended at 181 for 9 after 50 overs, 156 behind the West Indian total.