Winners of West Indies vs Ireland and Scotland vs Zimbabwe on Friday will qualify for Super 12 stage, with group runners-up to advance into England’s pool; Alzarri Joseph takes four wickets for two-time T20 World Cup champions West Indies as they beat Zimbabwe in Hobart
West Indies bounced back from their abject T20 World Cup defeat to Scotland with a 31-run victory over Zimbabwe to leave Group B fascinatingly poised ahead of the final round of fixtures.
West Indies, Scotland, Zimbabwe and Ireland all have one victory and one loss from two games, with the winners of West Indies vs Ireland and Scotland vs Zimbabwe on Friday to now qualify for the Super 12 phase in Australia.
Rain is forecast, however, and if both matches are washed out then Scotland and Zimbabwe will progress, with those teams currently top and second in the group respectively by virtue of net run-rate.
West Indies – skittled for 118 by Scotland on Monday during a shock 42-run defeat – were limited to 153-6 in Hobart on Wednesday, before Zimbabwe reached 29-0 in the third over of the run chase.
However, the African side then slumped to 122 all out in 18.2 overs with West Indies quick Alzarri Joseph bagging 4-16 and Jason Holder 3-12 – Holder claiming his 50th T20 international wicket and then the match-clinching scalp.
Sikandar Raza (14 off 8) was the fifth man to fall, one ball after he had deposited Odean Smith for six over midwicket and 48 hours after nailing 82 from 48 balls in the 31-run win over Ireland.
Raza had played a key role with the ball for Zimbabwe against West Indies, striking three times with his off-spin as the two-time champions stumbled from 77-1 in the 10th over to 101-6 in the 14th.
West Indies at one point lost four wickets for 11 runs across 11 legal deliveries – one of those dismissals the run out of top-scorer Johnson Charles (45 off 36) after he was involved in a mix-up with Rovman Powell and then slipped over.
Powell (28 off 21) and Akeal Hosein (23np off 18) shared a late partnership of 49 from 35 balls, with Powell nailing a 100 metre-plus six over the leg-side that stunned his batting partner.
Zimbabwe plundered 18 runs from the first over of the chase with bowler Kyle Mayers spraying the ball down the leg side for five wides and three fours coming off the bat off Regis Chakabva (13 off 9).
Chakabva dragged Joseph onto his stumps to be first man out before Joseph then smashed Tony Munyonga’s stumps with a searing yorker to begin a steady stream of wickets.
Smith had the dangerous Raza pouched by Powell at wide mid-off while Holder made Ryan Burl (17) his 50th wicket in T20Is and then bowled Tendai Chatara (3) to wrap up West Indies’ win.
Watch West Indies vs Ireland (5am start) and Scotland versus Zimbabwe (9am start) live on Sky Sports Cricket on Friday as the final two spots in the T20 World Cup Super 12 will be decided.
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