Zimbabwe outclass Canada
Zimbabwe outclassed Canada to secure a comfortable 175-run win in their World Cup Group A match at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium in Nagpur, India, on Monday.
Zimbabwe, after winning the toss and electing to bat, scored a formidable 298 for nine on the back of 98 runs from Tatenda Taibu.
Canada never got going during their reply as a three-wicket burst from left-arm spinner Ray Price reduced them to seven for three. Canada were eventually bowled out for 123 after 42.1 overs.
Taibu faced 99 balls during his innings, which included nine fours, but he missed out on a third one-day international hundred when his attempted sweep shot off leg-spinner Balaji Rao looped up to midwicket.
"I wasn't really thinking about getting to 100. I was really thinking about the position of the team," said Taibu.
When asked about the team's score, he said: "We're quite happy. That was our target in the morning, to get around 290/300 and anything past that was a bonus."
The right-handed Taibu and Craig Ervine shared in a mammoth third-wicket stand of 181 off 167 balls to rescue Zimbabwe’s innings after they had slipped to seven for two, which included the dismissal of Brendan Taylor (nought), trapped leg-before off the first ball of the match by seamer Khurram Chohan.
Ervine, after initially playing second fiddle to Taibu, eventually upped his scoring rate as he raced to 85 off 81 balls, with six fours and two sixes, before he popped a bat/pad catch to keeper Ashish Bagai off the bowling of Balaji.
Ervine’s dismissal heralded the start of collapse as Canada claimed five wickets for the addition of 52 runs on an almost perfect batting wicket.
Zimbabwe were in danger of undoing the good work started by Taibu and Ervine before Prosper Utseya (22) and Graeme Cremer (26) got the innings back on track with an eighth-wicket partnership of 41.
Sean Williams contributed an entertaining 30 runs off 25 balls as Zimbabwe scored 42 runs off the last five overs of their innings.
Balaji was the most successful bowler, with figures of four for 57 off 10 overs while the new ball pair of Chohan (10-0-44-2) and Harvir Baidwan (9-0-47-2) were the most impressive of the bowlers.
Price, who took the new ball, then derailed Canada’s reply almost soon as it started and at one stage he had figures of 3-1-2-3 before ending with three for 16 off eight overs.
Price was well supported by leg-spinner Graeme Cremer, who finished with three for 31.
Zubin Surkari top-scored for Canada with a pedestrian 26 off 48 balls but after Price’s opening burst Canada seemed intent on survival rather than ever trying to chase down the victory target.
Zimbabwe - Brendan Taylor, Charles Coventry, Tatenda Taibu (wk), Craig Ervine, Elton Chigumbura (capt), Sean Williams, Greg Lamb, Prosper Utseya, Graeme Cremer, Ray Price, Chris Mpofu.
Canada - John Davison, Nitish Kumar, Ruvindu Gunasekara, Zubin Surkari, Ashish Bagai (capt, wk), Jimmy Hansra, Rizwan Cheema, Tyson Gordon, Khurram Chohan, Harvir Baidwan, Balaji Rao.