BULAWAYO, Zimbabwe, CMC – Upbeat West Indies will go in search of their second straight win when they take on minnows Zimbabwe in their second game of the Tri-Nations Series here Saturday.
The Caribbean side will be heavily fancied in the contest at Queen’s Sports Club, especially after having won eight of their last nine outings against the African side.
West Indies were impressive in their opening game on Wednesday when they trounced Sri Lanka by 62 runs in Harare, and captain Jason Holder said he was hoping his side could build on that performance.
“I was very pleased with the way the guys played. I still don’t think we were 100 per cent. I thought we could have rotated the strike a little bit better as a batting unit and probably capitalised a little bit more coming on to the back end of the innings,” the all-rounder said.
“Having said that, I thought the bowlers went on and did an exceptional job and therefore put us in the position that we were at at the end of the game so hopefully we can continue making improvements in this second game against Zimbabwe.”
West Indies and Sri Lanka both have five points but the Windies top the standings by virtue of a superior net run rate.
Zimbabwe, who lost to Sri Lanka in the opening game last Monday, are without a point and will be seeking their first victory.
And though a victory would see them take a giant step towards the final, Holder said it was important his side not get ahead of themselves but rather, take a game by game approach.
“For me, I never look too far ahead and I try to instill that in the guys as well. I think it is important we take it game by game, just break down each opponent as we come up against them and just be precise with our planning and the main thing after that is just executing,” he stressed.
“Tomorrow we have Zimbabwe and afterwards we have Sri Lanka but we deal with Zimbabwe first before we head into the next game.”
The last meeting between the two teams, during the 2015 World Cup in Australia, was a memorable one. West Indies piled up a mammoth 372 with Chris Gayle scoring a double hundred and Marlon Samuels hammering a century.
Behind a clinical bowling performance, the Windies went on to register a 73-run victory.
Holder said while a performance like that one was always welcomed, he would be satisfied with seeing major improvements.
“A game tomorrow like that one would be very ideal for us as well. Having said that, I think we have the power in the dressing room to emulate that again but every day isn’t Christmas and you’re not going to get that type of result every day,” Holder noted.
“It’s a situation where we [want to] improve from our last performance against Sri Lanka, especially with the bat and just maintain what we’ve set so far with the ball.”
He added: “They (Zimbabwe) are obviously the home team. They know the conditions well and they obviously have the support. It is just important for us to stick to our plans and we had good, solid meetings going into this game and it’s just a situation for us to go out and execute.”
The contest bowls off at 9:30 am (3:30 am Eastern Caribbean time).
ZIMBABWE – Graeme Cremer (captain), Brian Chari, Tarisai Musakanda, Carl Mumba, Chris Mpofu, Hamilton Masakadza, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Donald Tiripano, Tinashe Panyangara, Sikandar Raza, Tendai Chisoro, Elton Chigumbura.
WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Sulieman Benn, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Kraigg Brathwaite, Jonathan Carter, Johnson Charles, Miguel Cummins, Shane Dowrich, Shannon Gabriel, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell.