Alzarri Joseph’s pace, bounce and precision yorkers kept twice champions West Indies in the hunt to qualify for the Super 12 stage as they beat Zimbabwe by 31 runs in the T20 World Cup here on Wednesday.
Joseph, 25, struck at the start and then returned in his second spell to snuff out the remaining fight from the African side to register career-best T20I figures of 4/16, all four having their stumps broken.
All-rounder Jason Holder provided able support by picking up 3/12 as West Indies bundled out Zimbabwe for 122 after opting to bat first and posting 153/7 in a must-win match after their shock 42-run defeat to Scotland.
Opener Johnson Charles top-scored for West Indies with 45 as the Caribbean side also found the going tough with the bat with Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza causing them problems with his off-spin and other variations to pick up 3/19.
The Windies slipped from 90 for 2 to 101 for 6 at the Bellerive Oval. But coach Phil Simmons will take heart from the fact that Charles, who came in for Brandon King, held the fort and with help from Rovman Powell (28) and Akeal Hosein (23 not out) took his team to a total that looked defendable in tricky conditions.
But West Indies would be worried about the form of captain Nicholas Pooran, who registered a second single-figure score in as many innings.
In their chase, Zimbabwe were off to a flyer but lost their way after scoring 55 runs in the Powerplay, losing wickets at regular intervals. Joseph’s first spell accounted for Zimbabwe stand-in captain Regis Chakabva and Tony Munyonga, both done in by sheer pace. Joseph returned for his next spell in overs 16 and 18 and immediately snuffed out Zimbabwe’s hopes by getting Luke Jongwe and then Richard Ngarava.
The result means all four Group B sides enter Friday’s play with one win apiece.
Brief scores: West Indies 153/7 in 20 ovs (Johnson Charles 45; Sikandar Raza 3/19). Zimbabwe 122 in 18.2 ovs (Alzarri Joseph 4/16, Jason Holder 3/12). West Indies won by 31 runs
Written with inputs from Reuters