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Cricket | International

Johnson Charles © Gallo Images

Charles, Bravo blast tons



Opener Johnson Charles slammed 130 and Darren Bravo added an unbeaten 100 off 71 balls Friday as the West Indies thumped Zimbabwe by 156 runs in the opening one-day international at the National Stadium.

Full Scorecard: West Indies v Zimbabwe

The duo spurred the West Indies to an imposing total of 337-4 off 50 overs, the Caribbean side's fourth highest total in one-dayers.

Charles' second successive century came off 111 balls and was spiced with 12 fours and four sixes.

His opening stand of 168 with Kieran Powell (79) laid the platform before Bravo smacked nine fours and four sixes to embellish the innings.

Zimbabwe lost four wickets inside the first 11 overs and eventually limped to 181-9 off 50 overs.

Malcolm Waller's 51 was the top score while ace spinner Sunil Narine took 3-28 to lead the West Indies.

The West Indies was indebted to their two young openers, right-hander Charles and left-hander Powell after Zimbabwe sent them in on a true pitch.

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They took 56 off the first 10 overs and continued to grind the visitors, who missed the chance to remove Charles on 37 when Vusi Sibanda spilled a difficult chance diving to his right at midwicket off Prosper Utseya.

The century stand arrived in the 20th over, with Powell first to his fifty, off 64 deliveries, before Charles followed with his lanbdmark, off 63 balls.

Medium pacer Chris Mpofu broke the stand when Powell top-edged a pull to deep square leg.

Charles and Bravo kept the momentum with the Caribbean men with a further stand of 80 off 62 balls.

Charles, from the island of St. Lucia, helped his nation celebrate its Independence Day on Friday by rushing to his second century off 94 balls.

The confident right-hander, whose last one-day knock was an even 100 off Australia at Melbourne, eventually fell to Mpofu when he swung across the line and was bowled.

Bravo dominated the final overs, his first fifty taking 47 balls before he upped the tempo, the second half century only requiring 24 deliveries.

Zimbabwe's reply was quickly derailed by Kemar Roach, who trapped Sibanda leg before wicket and Narine, who prised out Chamu Chibhabha and Hamilton Masakadza.

Masakadza departed to a sensational diving catch at long-on by Roach.

When Tino Best claimed captain Brendan Taylor to a lofted catch to mid-off, there was no way back for the visitors at 34-4.

Waller hit a determined half century and shared a stand of 58 with left-hander Craig Ervine (41).

But Zimbabwe never really challenged and head into the second of the three matches here at the same venue on Sunday trailing 0-1.

WEST INDIES: J Charles, KOA Powell, RR Sarwan, DM Bravo, DJ Bravo (capt), N Deonarine, D Ramdin (wk), AD Russell, SP Narine, KAJ Roach, TL Best

ZIMBABWE: V Sibanda, CJ Chibhabha, H Masakadza, BRM Taylor (capt), CR Ervine, MN Waller, RW Chakabva (wk), P Utseya, KM Jarvis, N Mushangwe, CB Mpofu

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