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Benn rips through Zimbabwe top order

Felix Austin | cricket20

Zimbabwe’s first Twenty20 International in 16 months turned into a Caribbean nightmare against the West Indies as Sulieman Benn ripped through the top order taking four wickets at the Queen's Park Oval in the Port of Spain.

Benn produced a stunning opening spell taking three wickets without conceding a run inside the first three overs to leave a shell shock Zimbabwe 0-3 and in a very large hole.

Benn bowled Vusi Sibanda with the first ball of the game before trapping Tatenda Taibu LBW and then two balls later he picked up the wicket of Stuart Matsikenyeri who was caught by wicketkeeper Denesh Ramdin.

After suffering a torrid time in Australia against David Warner and Shane Watson the West Indies took their frustrations out on a very inexperienced Zimbabwe batting line up who were unable to offer any sort of challenge.

It took the visitors 21 balls to finally score a run thank to Hamilton Masakadza who drive a shot through mid on run pick up two runs, he followed it up with a four through the covers to restore some pride for Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe’s joy didn’t last too long as Benn picked up his fourth wicket of the innings after he bowled Brandon Taylor (0) to leave the visitors 11-4 at the end of the fourth over.

With four partners already back in the dug out opener Masakadza remained at the crease and was joined by Greg Lamb but the pair knew they were already fighting a lost cause. Masakadza took on the role as the senior partner with Lamb playing a superb supporting role.

The pair built an impressive 5th wicket partnership of 40 before Lamb (11) completely misjudged the speed of a slow ball from Darren Sammy which knocked his middle stump out of the ground.

The partnership between Masakadza and Lamb rescured Zimbabwe after they had suffered one the worst starts to an innings in Twenty20 International history.

Masakadza continued his rearguard defence moving onto to 44 before he was caught by Ramdin off the bowling of Kieron Sammy to leave Zimbabwe 74-6.

With Masakadza gone it was left to Elton Chigumbura (34) to guide the visitors past 100 despite Sammy ripping through the tail enders taking 3 wickets in the last over to leave the West Indies chasing 106 for victory.

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