NORTH SOUND, Antigua (CMC):
World champions West Indies made the most of Zimbabwe's lacklustre performance to win the final Twenty20 International by 41 runs and sweep the two-match series yesterday.
In a low-keyed encounter at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Ground in Antigua, West Indies posted 158 for seven from their 20 overs, with Kieron Pollard blasting an unbeaten 45 and opener Lendl Simmons hitting 41.
Leg-spinners Tinotenda Mutombodzi (2-28) and Natsai Mushangwe (2-33), both 22-year-olds, picked up two wickets apiece.
In reply, a jaded looking Zimbabwe never seriously challenged and meandered to 117 for six off 20 overs.
The consistent Hamilton Masakadza stood tall with an unbeaten 53 from 51 balls but found no support as leg-spinner Samuel Badree damaged the top order to finish with three for 17 from four overs.
With the result, West Indies extended their winning streak in T20s to seven dating back to last year's World Championship in Sri Lanka, and have now also won 10 of their last 13 games.
Opting to bat first, the Windies found themselves shackled by disciplined bowling and were dithering at 92 for four at the end of the 14th over.
Simmons, never fluent despite striking a four and a pair of sixes off 39 balls, added 42 from 36 balls for the second wicket with Dwayne Bravo (24), to steady the innings.
Voted Man of the Series, Simmons gathered just eight runs from his first 13 deliveries before exploding with a six-over long-off off Chatara.
Not for the first time, Pollard entered to change the complexion of the innings, effortlessly cracking three fours and sixes off just 24 balls.
In one over from Chatara that bled 23 runs, he belted two fierce sixes and two fours as the West Indies scoring picked up.
Pollard put on an entertaining 56 from just 26 balls for the fifth wicket with captain Darren Sammy, whose 19 contained two fours and a towering straight six off seamer Chris Mpofu which cleared the stands.
Badree then put the brakes on Zimbabwe's scoring, bowling Chamu Chibhabha for 13 in the fourth over, before he had the classy Vusi Sibanda caught low down at point by Bravo, as pressure built on the batsmen to find scoring shots.
Masakadza, who counted six fours in his innings, paired with Craig Ervine (15) to put on 35 for the fourth wicket.