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13th Match, Group D: West Indies v Zimbabwe at Kingston - Mar 19, 2007

Williams shows spark despite defeat

Having tied their first game against Ireland, Zimbabwe needed a win today to strengthen their chances of making the Super Eight. The odds were stacked against them for West Indies were clear favourites, having beaten Pakistan in their opening match. Their recent track record in West Indies was dismal too, having lost 5-0 in May 2006. As it turned out, Zimbabwe did not have the firepower to upset West Indies. But if it was any consolation, they did have the best batsman of the day.

The 20-year old Sean Williams is considered the brightest all-round talent in Zimbabwe. He's a left-hander who bats in the top-order and can bowl useful left-arm spin as well. In the Under-19 World Cup in 2004 he was the pick of Zimbabwe's batsmen with 157 runs at 31.40, as well as five wickets. He had played 14 ODIs before today's match and averaged 23 with a high-score of 68.

When Williams walked into bat, Zimbabwe were up against it at 59 for 4 in the 18th over. Corey Collymore was in the middle of a stingy spell and Williams' first task was to ensure that Zimbabwe stemmed the collapse. Brendan Taylor and Williams rode their luck, initially playing and missing but slowly they began to look more assured and West Indies grew ragged. While Taylor took 121 balls to score 50, Williams scored at a much faster rate. Together they added 83 for the fifth wicket which set the platform for a final assault from Williams and Elton Chigumbura.

He did the basics well - rotated strike regularly, ran swiftly between the wickets and looked to dominate the spinners. Six out of his seven boundaries came against Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels as he upped the ante towards the slog overs. Williams remained unbeaten on 70 - his highest ODI score - and steered Zimbabwe to 202 for 5. His performance wasn't enough to secure a victory for Zimbabwe but it did win him the Man-of-the-Match award.