Windies Through After Victory


West Indies are through to the Super Eight stage after beating Zimbabwe by six wickets in their Group D clash in Jamaica.

West Indies booked their place in the World Cup Super Eight with a six-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in Group D at Sabina Park.
Brian Lara's men followed up their opening triumph over Pakistan with a hard-fought victory in Kingston, Jamaica, which leaves Zimbabwe needing to win their final group match against Pakistan to keep alive their hopes of pipping Ireland to the second qualifying spot.
Set a target of 203 after choosing to field first, West Indies were always ahead of the rate and Chris Gayle (40) and Marlon Samuels (28) set a platform which enabled Lara and Dwayne Bravo to see their side home with 13 balls to spare thanks to an unbroken 75-run partnership.
The elegant Gayle struck three successive huge sixes back over the head of Tawanda Mupariwa as he dominated an opening stand of 73 in 17.2 overs with Shivnarine Chanderpaul.
Chanderpaul fell to a slip catch by Vusi Sibanda off Elton Chigumbura for 21 and, without addition to the score, Gayle edged to wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor, who parried the ball for Sibanda to take a brilliant one-handed reflex catch.
Ramnaresh Sarwan gave a return catch to Anthony Ireland to fall for 12 and Samuels was caught at backward point off Mupariwa but Lara overcame a sluggish start to hit 44 not out, including the winning six, and in the process become the seventh batsman to score 1,000 World Cup runs.
He received useful support from Bravo, who struck two sixes in his unbeaten 37, although he was dropped in the deep on 32.
Earlier, half-centuries from Williams and Brendan Taylor helped Zimbabwe recover from 31 for three to post a respectable total of 202 for five.
They would have been in dire straights but for an 83-run partnership for the fourth wicket by Taylor, who struck a patient 50, and the 20-year-old Williams, who finished with a career-best 70 not out from 88 balls.
They were also boosted by a quick-fire 30 not out from 29 deliveries by Elton Chigumbura as the West Indies failed to make the most of a dream start.
Taylor arrived at the crease with his side struggling on two for two after West Indies opening pair Daren Powell and Jerome Taylor struck early blows.
Taylor removed 18-year-old left-hander Friday Kasteni for a first-ball duck while fellow opener Vusi Sibanda perished after completely mis-reading an inswinger from Powell.
When Justice Chibhabha was bowled by Taylor for 12, Zimbabwe were perilously placed on 31 for three and they lost Stuart Matsikenyeri, who top-scored with 73 not out in his side's tied match with Ireland, with the score on 59.
But Taylor and Williams gradually laid the foundations for a useful total, ensuring Zimbabwe batted out their full 50 overs.
Taylor was watchful until straight-driving Dwayne Smith for the only six of the innings and he was starting to gather momentum when he was run out attempting a risky single shortly after bringing up his 11th one-day international fifty.
The left-handed Williams brought up his fourth one-day fifty, and Zimbabwe's 150, with an inside edge off Samuels.
He had survived a run-out chance on 24 and was dropped on 65 after skying a catch to Powell at third man but rode his luck to take the total past 200 with help from the big-hitting Chigumbura.