West Indies began its World Cup Qualifiers on a winning note by registering a 39-run win over the United States in the second match at the Takashinga Sports Club in Harare on Sunday.
West Indies rode on half-centuries from Johnson Charles, Shai Hope, Roston Chase and Jason Holder to post a commanding 297 in 49.3 overs. In reply, Gajanand SIngh’s unbeaten century went in vain as the United States lost the encounter by 39 runs.
U.S. won the toss and opted to bowl first and its bowlers made an impact early as Brandon King departed for a seven-ball duck. Kyle Mayers was next to depart as West Indies lost its openers for just 14 runs on the board inside the PowerPlay.
However, Charles and Hope steadied the ship with a 115-run stand off 126 deliveries for the third wicket.
Both batsmen scored valuable half-centuries to dig West Indies out of trouble and resurrected the innings. While Charles scored a 66-ball 54, Hope made 54 off 60 balls.
The fall of Charles and Hope saw Nicholas Pooran shouldering the responsibility of a finisher as the big-hitter made a quickfire 43 off 28 balls, hitting three sixes and two boundaries.
Chase applied himself and produced a timely run-a-ball 55 in a knock that was laced with four boundaries and a six.
Chase and Pooran negotiated the middle overs and stitched an important 55-run partnership ff 50 balls for the fifth wicket but it was the 74-run stand off 57 deliveries between Holder and Chase that provided the finishing kick to the West Indies innings.
Holder smashed his way to a brilliant 40-ball 56 and his knock was studded with three sixes and two boundaries.
Chasing 298 runs to win, U.S. kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Kyle Mayers and Holder made early inroads to leave the opposition five down with just 97 runs on the board. However, Gajanand scored an unbeaten 101 off 109 balls to keep his side in the hunt and forged partnerships with Aaron Jones and Shayan Jahangir.
With Jones and Jahangir falling, Gajanand joined hands with N Kenjige and stitched an unbeaten 76-run stand for the eighth wicket off 61 balls but the West Indies bowlers did well to close out the match to keep their World Cup qualification hopes alive.
Brief Scores: West Indies 297 all out in 49.3 Overs (Charles 66, Hope 54, Pooran 43, Chase 55, Holder 56, Taylor 3/53) beats United States 258/7 in 50 Overs (Gajanand 101 n o, Mayers 2/30, Joseph 2/68) by 39 runs.
Player of the Match: Jason Holder
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