Samuels takes Windies closer to World Cup qualification

Brendan Taylor’s brilliant century went in vain as West Indies moved to the brink of qualification for the 2019 Cricket World Cup as they defeated Zimbabwe by four wickets in the latest qualifying match on Monday.

Chasing 290 to win, the two-time champions reached their target with six balls to spare after surviving a worrying mid-innings collapse.

Marlon Samuels smashed a gutsy 86 off 80 deliveries to keep the World Cup hopes alive. The Jamaica-born cricketer stitched a crucial 135-run stand with Shai Hope for the third wicket.

The Caribbean outfit is leading the points table with 6 points but will still have to avoid defeat against Scotland on Wednesday to confirm their berth in cricket biggest event.

Zimbabwe, on five points, can still make the 2019 finals by beating the UAE on Thursday although the Scots, Ireland and Afghanistan all remain in contention for a spot in the showpiece in England and Wales.

Brendan Taylor top-scored for Zimbabwe with 138 which included 20 boundaries and two sixes.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 289 all out in 50 overs (B. Taylor 138; J. Holder 4-35) v West Indies 290-6 in 49 overs (M. Samuels 86, S. Hope 76, E. Lewis 64)

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