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Samuels, Hope steer West Indies home

UAE stand between hosts Zimbabwe and a World Cup slot

Gulf News

Dubai: West Indies, two-time World Cup champions, moved a step closer to qualification for the 2019 World Cup with an exciting four-wicket victory over Zimbabwe in Harare on Monday.

West Indies (six) are now a point ahead of Zimbabwe and Scotland at the top of the Super Sixes table with one game left. The Caribbean side will face third-placed Scotland on Wednesday and a win for either side will secure one of the two qualification places.

Ireland are in fourth place, a point behind Zimbabwe and Scotland, but even a win against Afghanistan in their last game on Friday may not be enough to book them a place in the World Cup.

Zimbabwe will qualify if they beat UAE on Thursday.

Batting first, Zimbabwe rode a brilliant innings of 138 by veteran Brendan Taylor to pile up a challenging total of 289 in 50 overs. West Indies captain Jason Holder took four for 35 to bowl the hosts out.

Marlon Samuels (86) and Shai Hope (76) were architects of their team’s win as they reached their target of 290 with an over left despite a late collapse.

The Caribbeans had looked on course with Samuels and Hope at the crease until the pair’s 135-run partnership ended when Samuels fell to Blessing Muzarabani with another 45 runs needed.

Hope was out for 76 soon after and Jason Holder and Shimron Hetmyer followed but the seventh-wicket partnership of Rovman Powell and Ashley Nurse saw West Indies to victory.

Brief scores:

West Indies beat Zimbabwe by four wickets. Zimbabwe 289 in 50 overs (Brendan Taylor 138; Jason Holder 4-35) West Indies 290-6 in 49 overs (Marlon Samuels 86, Shai Hope 76).

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