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Sarwan hundred gives Windies series
Ramnaresh Sarwan chose the perfect moment to produce his best-ever one-day international innings as his unbeaten 120 earned West Indies a series win over Zimbabwe in Grenada.
On a day of records, Dwayne Bravo's career-best six for 43 had failed to slow down Zimbabwe on their way to a commanding 273 for eight, but with Sarwan majestic, the home side took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series courtesy of a seven-wicket victory.
The 32-year-old should have been run out halfway through his knock, but his otherwise chanceless vigil, which helped form part of a 111-run opening stand with Kieran Powell (57) was enough for the home side.
The shred of hope Zimbabwe had of doing the business with the ball came after Hamilton Masakadza snared Powell and then Darren Bravo for a duck, but they were soon shut down by Sarwan, Narsingh Deonarine (42) and Kieron Pollard (41no).
To lose was rough justice on Zimbabwe, though, who were excellent with the bat themselves, with Masakadza and Craig Ervine putting on 110 for the fourth wicket to put them in with a real chance.
With opener Vusi Sibanda also raising his bat for a tidy 51, it was a much more accomplished performance from Zimbabwe than the one they produced in their 156-run submission two days ago, although it had looked as though West Indies would dictate play early on.
Despite Sibanda going well, Chamu Chibhabha was castled by Sunil Narine for 11 and, when Sibanda and Brendan Taylor were cleaned up in the space of three Dwayne Bravo balls, trouble looked on the cards.
But Masakadza and Ervine steadied the innings, with the former eventually sent back to the pavilion when he took on Bravo one too many times and found the hands of Narine at third man.
Malcolm Waller clubbed two sixes in a breezy 26 that was ended by Kemar Roach and when Ervine was cleaned up by Bravo, resistance appeared to be over.
But a positive 15 from Regis Chakabva and 12 from Prosper Utseya added some bonus runs, with Bravo then having the last word as he got rid of the former and Kyle Jarvis.
That late flourish would count for little, though, as the West Indies successfully chased down the target.
Powell and Darren Bravo both perished in the same way, nicking Masakadza to Taylor, but with Sarwan largely unruffled, the odds were always with the home side.
Sarwan occupied the crease for 143 balls as he made his fourth ODI century and, as the end approached, Pollard's quickfire 41 ensured that the job was done with an over to spare. (CMC)
V Sibanda b DJ Bravo 51
CJ Chibhabha b Narine 11
H Masakadza c Narine b DJ Bravo 60
+B Taylor lbw b DJ Bravo 0
C Ervine b DJ Bravo 80
M Waller b Roach 26
R Chakabva c Pollard b DJ Bravo 15
P Utseya not out 12
K Jarvis c DM Bravo b DJ Bravo 1
N Mushangwe not out 0
Extras (lb4, w12, nb1) 17
TOTAL (8 wkts, 50 overs) 273
Did not bat: T Chatara
Fall of wickets: 1-39 (Chibhabha, 11.1 overs), 2-76 (Sibanda, 18.2), 3-76 (Taylor, 18.4), 4-186 (Masakadza, 40.3), 5-232 (Waller, 45), 6-241 (Ervine, 45.4), 7-268 (Chakabva, 49.1), 8-271 (Jarvis, 49.5)
Bowling: Roach 10-1-63-1 (nb1), Best 10-0-53-0 (w4), Russell 6-0-29-0 (w1), Narine10-0-55-1, DJ Bravo 10-1-43-6 (w2), Pollard 2-0-15-0 (w1), Deonarie 2-0-11-0 (w2).
K Powell c wkp Taylor b Masakadza 57
R Sarwan not out 120
DM Bravo c wkp Taylor b Masak’za 0
N Deonarine run out 42
K Pollard not out 41
Extras (lb2, w11, nb1) 14
TOTAL (3 wkts, 49 overs) 274
Did not bat: DJ Bravo, A Russell, +D Ramdin, K Roach, T Best, S Narine.
Fall of wickets: 1-111 (Powell, 25.4 overs), 2-111 (DM Bravo, 26), 3-219 (Deonarine, 43.2)
Bowling: Jarvis 9-1-55-0 (w1), Chatara 8-0-64-0 (w5, nb1), Chibhabha 5-0-25-0, Utseya 10-0-54-0 (w4), Masakadza 7-0-27-2, Mushangwe 10-0-47-0.
Result: West Indies won by seven wickets.
Series: West Indies lead three-match series 2-0.
Man-of-the-Match: Dwayne Bravo.
Umpires: J Cloete, P Nero; TV – I Gould.
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