An eye-catching maiden century by Rovman Powell steered the Windies into the Super Six of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 in Zimbabwe with a convincing 52 runs victory over Ireland in a Group A match on March 10, while Zimbabwe also maintained their unbeaten run in Group B and progressed to the next stage with an 89 runs victory over Hong Kong.
In front of broadcast cameras and nearly 2,000 spectators at the Harare Sports Club, Powell scored a dazzling less than run-a-ball 101 with seven fours and as many sixes to lift the Windies from 83 for five to 257 for eight. He featured in an 86-run sixth-wicket partnership with captain Jason Holder, who hit three fours and a six in a 71-ball 54.
Fast bowler Tim Murtagh was the pick of the Ireland bowlers with figures of 10-2-41-4, while Andy McBrine picked up two for 45.
Windies fast bowler Kemar Roach then picked up two early wickets of Paul Stirling (18) and Andrew Balbirnie (9) and then returned to dismiss the dangerous looking Ed Joyce (63, 86b, 7×4) and Kevin O’Brien (38) in a space of four deliveries to finish will figures of 10-3-27-4 as Ireland slipped from 166-4 to 205 all out in 46.2 overs. Kesrick Williams too did his part as he got rid of the lower-order batsmen, taking four for 43 in 8.2 overs.
In the other Group A fixture at the Old Hararians, the Netherlands kept their chances alive for a place in the Super Six when they defeated Papua New Guinea by 57 runs in their first-ever meeting. Roelof van der Merwe starred in the Dutch victory when he contributed 33 in his side’s 216 for eight and then returned figures of 10-0-46-4 as PNG were dismissed for 159 in 42.1 overs.
This result means Monday’s (March 12) matches between the Netherlands and the Windies and Ireland and the United Arab Emirates will decide which two sides will join the two-time former world champions in the Super Six.
In a Group B match at the Queens Sports Club, Hamilton Mazakadza scored a 110-ball 84 with seven fours and a six, Brendan Taylor hit four fours in a 51-ball 46 and a 25-ball cameo by opener Cephas Zhuwao, which included six fours and three sixes, propelled Zimbabwe to an imposing 263 for nine.
Hong Kong’s Anshuman Rath fought a lone battle scoring 85 but wickets continued to fall at the other end until the Asian side were bowled out for 174 in 46.5 overs. Sikandar Raza was the most successful bowler with three for 30, while Kyle Jarvis, Graeme Cremer and Sean Williams took two wickets apiece.
Zimbabwe will now take on defending champions Scotland on Monday (March 12) and the winners of the match will take four points into the Super Six, while the loser will go through with two points.
Hong Kong’s defeat also gave a lifeline to Afghanistan, who defeated Nepal by six wickets after Mohammad Nabi took four for 33 and then scored 34 in their last group match. They will now await the result of the Hong Kong versus Nepal match to know their fate.
If Nepal beat Hong Kong on Monday (March 12), Afghanistan, Hong Kong and Nepal will be tied on one win apiece, then the side with the better net run-rate will go through. After Saturday’s matches, Afghanistan has a net run-rate of +0.038, Hong Kong is on -1.26 and Nepal are -1.54.
A Hong Kong win will put them into the Super Six ahead of Afghanistan on points.
Scores in brief:
Windies beat Ireland, Harare Sports Club (Group A)
Windies 257-8, 50 overs (Rovman Powell 101, Jason Holder 54, Shimron Hetmyer 36; Tim Murtagh 4-41, Andy McBrine 2-45)
Ireland 205 all out, 46.2 overs (Ed Joyce 63, Kevin O’Brien 38, Niall O’Brien 34; Kemar Roach 4-27, Kesrick Williams 4-43, Jason Holder 2-49)
Player of the match – Rovman Powell (Windies)
The Netherlands beat PNG by 57 runs, Old Hararians (Group A)
Netherlands 216-8, 50 overs (Sikander Zulfiqar 53 not out, Roelof van der Merwe 38, Scott Edwards 27, Ben Cooper 26; Pieter Seelaar 23; Alei Nao 2-28, Mahuru Dai 2-29, Charles Amini 2-36, Norman Vanua 2-53)
PNG 159 all out, 42.1 overs (Assad Vala 44; Kaplin Doriga 32 not out, Roelof van der Merwe 4-46, Fred Klaassen 2-25, Shane Snater 2-22)
Player of the match – Roelof van der Merwe (the Netherlands)
Zimbabwe beat Hong Kong by 89 runs, Queens Sports Club, (Group B)
Zimbabwe 263-9, 50 overs (Hamilton Mazakadza 84, Brendan Taylor 46, Cephas Zhuwao 45, Solomon Mire 20; Ehsan Nawaz 3-47, Aizaz Khan 2-41, Ehsan Khan 2-51)
Hong Kong 174 all out, 46.5 overs (Anshuman Rath 85; Sikandar Raza 3-30, Kyle Jarvis 2-20, Graeme Cremer 2-42, Sean Williams 2-44)
Player of the match – Hamilton Masakadza (Zimbabwe)
Afghanistan beat Nepal by six wickets, Bulawayo Athletic Club, (Group B)
Nepal 194 all out, 49.5 overs (Paras Khadka 75, Dipendra Airee 32, Gyanendra Malla 23, Aarif Sheikh 23; Mohammad Nabi 4-33, Rashid Khan 3-45, Shapoor Zadran 2-32)
Afghanistan 195-4, 38.4 overs (Najibullah Zadran 52 not out, Rahmat Shah 46, Mohammad Nabi 34, Javed Ahmadi 26, Rashid Khan 21; Dipendra Airee 2-25)
Player of the match – Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan)
Fixtures for Monday (matches start 9.3am local time; games involving the Netherlands and Nepal will be classified as List-A matches as the two sides don’t have ODI status coming into this tournament):
* Windies v Netherlands, Harare Sports Club; Shaun George and Michael Gough (on-field), Ahsan Raza (third umpire), Sharfuddoula Ibne Shahid (fourth umpire), Graeme La Brooy (match referee)
* Ireland v UAE, Old Hararians; Simon Fry and Langton Rusere (on-field), Jeremiah Matibiri (reserve umpire), Devdas Govindjee (match referee)
* Hong Kong v Nepal, Bulawayo Athletic Club; Chris Brown and Joel Wilson (on-field), Iknow Chabi (reserve umpire), David Jukes (match referee)
* Zimbabwe v Scotland, Queens Sports Club; Paul Wilson and Gregory Brathwaite (on-field), Adrian Holdstock (reserve umpire), Shahit Wadvalla (match referee)
There are no reserve days in the tournament.