Windies ODI Cricket on the Downslide?

Wisden Staff, 24 June 2023, with this title “West Indies in danger of not qualifying for World Cup for first time ever after defeat to Zimbabwe“wINDIES


Tendai Chatara took the final wicket in Harare to complete Zimbabwe’s 11th ODI victory over the West Indies, and second in three matches. Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl had shared an 87-run partnership in Zimbabwe’s innings to help them post a target of 268. Despite a fifty from Kyle Mayers early in the West Indies’ chase, they slipped to 180-6 and lost their final three wickets for 16 runs as they fell short.

The result puts the West Indies down to third in Group A, behind Zimbabwe and the Netherlands after three games each. Nepal and USA sit in the bottom two positions in the table. However, West Indies have already played both sides, meaning their final match will be a tougher fixture against the Netherlands.

While West Indies have already qualified for the next stage of the tournament (the Super Six), they now risk entering as the third-placed side from Group A. Teams will carry forward their points, win count and net run rate from the group stage against other teams that qualify for the Super Sixes into the Super Six league. As Zimbabwe have also already qualified for the Super Six, the West Indies will carry forward their loss today.

They will also have to play Sri Lanka as the top qualifying side from Group B, as well as, most likely, Scotland and Oman. While Zimbabwe and the Netherlands will also have to play those three sides, Zimbabwe will not carry forward any losses from the group stage, having also beaten the Netherlands. Even if they lose to Sri Lanka, two wins against the other two Group B teams will put them in a strong position to qualify at West Indies’ expense.

West Indies have never failed to qualify for a World Cup before and won the first two editions of the tournament. They beat Australia in the final of the first-ever men’s tournament in 1975 before overcoming England in the final four years later.

At the previous World Cup in 2019, West Indies finished in ninth place – second from bottom of the main points table. They won only two matches in the competition, their first against Pakistan and last against Afghanistan.

Zimbabwe failed to reach the final ten for the 2019 competition after they lost to the UAE by three runs on DLS in the Qualifier in 2018. If they qualify for this edition of the tournament, it will be their ninth appearance in the competition. Their best result came in 1999, when they finished in fifth place.

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