Bravo and Sarwan shine

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St George’s, Grenada - Captain Dwayne Bravo took 6-43 and Ramnaresh Sarwan struck an unbeaten 120 Sunday to lead the West Indies to a seven-wicket victory over Zimbabwe and an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.

Zimbabwe, after winning the toss at Grenada National Stadium, amassed a competitive 273-8 off 50 overs despite the career-best haul from seamer Bravo.

Craig Ervine top-scored with 80 off 85 balls, while opener Vusi Sibanda (51) and Hamilton Masakdza (60) posted useful contributions. But the West Indies rode Sarwan's own career-high, his fifth one-day century, to cruise home at 274-3 with an over to spare.

The 32-year-old Sarwan, opening the innings for only the second time in one-dayers, faced 143 balls and struck nine fours and two sixes. He and Kieran Powell (57) shared an opening stand of 111 to set the platform for victory.

Masakadza took 2-27 with his medium pacers to dent the momentum, but Narsingh Deonarine (42) and Kieron Pollard (41 not out) helped the experienced Sarwan take the hosts home. Pollard's innings contained four fours and two sixes off 20 deliveries.

Earlier, Zimbabwe's innings was built around the three half-centurions.

Sibanda and Chamu Chibhabha gave the visitors a sound start in a first-wicket stand of 39 before Sunil Narine went past Chibhabha's outside edge to bowl him for 11.

Sibanda and Masakadza added a further 37 for the second wicket before Bravo made his first intervention.

Sibanda had just completed his half-century when he played across the line and was bowled. Two balls later, Bravo claimed his opposite number, Brendan Taylor, for a duck as he played a similar stroke and was lbw for Zimbabwe to slip to 76-3 in the 19th over.

But the visitors rebuilt through Masakadza and Ervine, the pair sharing a sensible fourth-wicket stand of 110 in 131 balls.

Masakadza, who hit two fours and two sixes off 84 balls, eventually top-edged a slower ball from Bravo to short third man. Malcolm Waller slammed 26 off 16 balls to keep the momentum with the visitors before he was bowled by Kemar Roach's slower ball.

Bravo claimed Ervine soon afterward, bowled as he tried to hit over the off side.

Bravo added the scalps of Regis Chakabva (15) and Kyle Jarvis in the final over, in the process moving into fourth on the overall list of West Indian wicket-takers in one-dayers, jumping ahead of Malcolm Marshall and Chris Gayle (157 each).

West Indies' reply was led by an opening stand of 111 between Sarwan and Powell, who had some luck along the way. Powell should have been caught in the deep off Debutant Tendai Chatara in the second over but Kyle Jarvis misjudged badly at fine leg.

One over later, Chatara had Powell brilliantly caught at short extra cover by Sibanda, but the dismissal was eventually negated by a no-ball call after TV review. Powell's second straight half-century arrived off 71 balls but he could not push on.

Masakadza lifted the Zimbabweans by having Powell and first-match centurion Darren Bravo caught behind in the space of three balls to make it 111-2 in the 26th over.

But Sarwan, with support from fellow Guyanese Deonarine and the aggressive Pollard saw their side home. Sarwan reached 50 off 81 balls and accelerated nicely afterward.

But he was also lucky to survive a run out appeal when on 53 as umpire Peter Nero chose not to seek TV help despite replays showing Sarwan to be short of the crease when Regis Chakabvas' return broke the stumps.

He and Deonarine added 108 off 104 balls before a direct hit run out by Prosper Utseya removed Deonarine, who hit one four and one six off 49 balls.

Pollard ensured there would be no late drama with a typically robust innings, while Sarwan calmly arrived at three figures and hit the winning runs with six balls left. - Sapa-AP


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