Williams blitzkrieg helps Zimbabwe annihilate US by 304 runs

HARARE: Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams bludgeoned 174 from 101 balls on Monday to set up a 304-run victory for his side in their one-day international World Cup Qualifier (WCQ) match against the United States at Harare Sports Club.

The colossal winning margin fell just shy of the men’s ODI record which India posted six months ago in their 317-run demolition of Sri Lanka in Thiruvananthapuram.

Sent in to bat, the African side smashed their highest ODI total of 408-6 with Williams ably supported by opener Joylord Gumbie (78), Sikandar Raza (48) and Ryan Burl — whose 47 runs came at a strike rate of 294.

The U.S. were never in the chase and lost regular wickets as they were bowled all out for 104 in 25.1 overs, including three comical runouts.

Zimbabwe finish the group stage of the qualifiers unbeaten having also overcome West Indies, Netherlands and Nepal. The two tournament finalists will qualify for the 50-over World Cup in India later this year.

“We’ve found our momentum and we’re looking to carry it forward … having the crowd behind us is like having a 12th man,” Williams said after being named player of the match.

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