Bulawayo (Zimbabwe) (AFP) – A 144-run partnership between Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza Butt carried Zimbabwe to a competitive total in their triangular series one-day international against the West Indies at Queens Sports Club on Saturday.
Ervine top scored with 92 and Raza hit 77, but Zimbabwe faded badly after the pair were parted and were eventually bowled out for 257 off the final ball of the innings.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the hosts were content to take the patient approach up front, with openers Brian Chari and Chamu Chibhabha reaching 38 without loss from the first 11 overs.
Chibhabha was then run out for 25 before Chari fell for 15 to an excellent catch from Jason Holder as the West Indies captain ran back from midwicket.
However the next 25 overs belonged to Zimbabwe, as Ervine and Raza rotated the strike well and increasingly managed to find the boundary, notching up Zimbabwe’s highest third-wicket stand against the West Indies in the process.
When Raza holed out to long-off from the bowling of Carlos Brathwaite in the 39th over, Zimbabwe were well set on 190 for three but failed to capitalise on the platform.
Wickets tumbled in a succession of slogs and heaves, with Brathwaite taking two further scalps to finish with figures of 4 for 48.
Ervine missed out on a hundred when he chipped Shannon Gabriel to long-on in the 47th over.
In all, Zimbabwe lost their last eight wickets for the addition of just 67 runs, with only one of the batsmen below Ervine and Raza reaching double figures.
Zimbabwe lost their opening match to Sri Lanka on Monday, before the West Indies beat Sri Lanka in Harare in the second game of the series.
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