West Indies 4-337 (Johnson Charles 130, Darren Bravo 100*, Chris Mpofu 2-83) beat Zimbabwe 9-181 (Malcolm Waller 51, Craig Ervine 41, Sunil Narine 3-28) by 156 runs.
The Caribbean batsmen led by centuries from Johnson Charles and Darren Bravo spoiled the Zimbabwe bowling as the hosts clinched the first ODI easily.
West Indies powered 337 runs for the loss of just four wickets at the end of the scheduled 50 overs and Zimbabwe managed 181 with one wicket left in the same overs.
Johnson Charles (West Indies) was declared ‘Player of the match’ for his brilliant knock of 130 runs while opening the innings.
The first ODI of the three match series was played on Friday, February 22nd, 2013, at National Cricket Stadium, St George’s, Grenada.
Brendan Taylor, the captain of Zimbabwe, won the toss and sent the rival team in to bat first. Johnson Charles and Kieran Powell initiated the innings for the Windies and scored 21 runs in the first five overs. Powell was the most aggressive of the two and hit 1 six and 4 fours in the next three overs as Charles got his first six in the 12th over. The latter was dropped at 37 by Vusi Sibanda at midwicket off Prosper Utseya in the 16th over. Powell dispatched his second ODI fifty in the 19th over and Charles reached his half century four overs later.
Johnson Charles hit 3 fours in the 24th over followed by another two in the next as the first wicket association flourished to 168 in 28.4 overs. Kieran Powell was gone after scoring 79 off 88 balls with 2 sixes and 7 fours and was replaced by Darren Bravo. Charles continued with his onslaught and thrashed his second ODI ton on the first ball of the 32nd over. Darren Bravo woke up in the 36th over by hitting 2 sixes and the duo added 1 six and 2 fours on the first five balls of the 39th over. Johnson Charles was clean bowled by Chris Mpofu for 130 off just 111 deliveries complimented by 4 towering sixes and 12 fours.
Darren Bravo took over from thereon and played his strokes at ease while sending the ball reeling and flying over the rope frequently. A couple of wickets fell from the other end with a minimum contribution from the outgoing batsmen as the third hundred of the innings appeared on board. Darren Bravo hit another 2 sixes in the 49th over and smashed his maiden ODI hundred in the last over. He remained unbeaten for 100 off 71 mere balls with 4 spicy sixes and 9 fours as the hosts hammered 337 runs with six wickets in hand.
Prosper Utseya was the supreme bowler with two wickets whereas Kyle Jarvis and Natsai M’shangwe shared one wicket each.
Zimbabwe got off to a worse beginning when they lost their openers for just 22 runs in 5.3 overs. Vusi Sibanda was declared leg before wicket off Kemar Roach for 12 and Chamu Chibhabha became the first victim of Sunil Narine after scoring just six runs. The home bowlers became unplayable and the next two batsmen, Hamilton Masakadza and Brendan Taylor surrendered for 4 and 8 runs respectively.
Craig Ervine and Malcolm Waller got together and tried to stabilise the innings as the first hit 2 fours in the 12th over. They kept on crawling and Ervine added 2 more boundaries six overs later and Waller preferred to secure his wicket. Ervine hit a six in the 22nd over but was caught by Charles off Russell for 41 off 51 with 1 six and 4 fours as the total touched 92 in 23.5 overs. Waller became the senior partner as Regis Chakabva watched him fighting from his end. The latter was gone after scoring four runs at 115 in 29.3 overs and the visitors required 223 runs from the last 21 overs at a net run rate of 10.61 to win the game.
Malcolm Waller was the only fighter in the center as reaching the target became a big ask for the tourists. He hit 2 back to back fours in the 39th over and completed his fourth limited overs fifty on the last ball of the 40th over. He was finally gone for 51 off 75 deliveries with 6 fours as Zimbabwe scored 181 runs for the loss of nine wickets at the end of the 50th over.
Sunil Narine was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell held two each whereas Kemar Roach and Tino Best claimed one wicket each.
West Indies won the match comprehensively by a huge margin of 156 runs and leads the three match series 1-0. The second ODI of the series will be played on February 24, 2013, at the same venue.