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The opening match of the Cricket World Cup Qualifier was won by West Indies and Zimbabwe.

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Harare (AFP) – West Indies and Zimbabwe won their opening matches against USA and Nepal in Group A qualifiers of the Cricket World Cup on Sunday.

Two-time world champions West Indies recovered from early losses to openers Brendan King and Kyle Meyers as four players scored half-centuries as they were bundled out for 297 in 49.3 overs.

Johnson-Charles top-scored with 66 runs, while Jason Holder (56), Ruston Chase (55), and captain Shai Hope (54) all scored 50 runs, Nicholas Pooran also scored 43 runs.

For the American team, Gajanand Singh scored an unbeaten 101 off 109 balls with eight fours and two sixes, but the chase proved too much and the West Indies were run out by 39 runs.

“We have to stay disciplined and we have to stay calm,” said Holder, praising Singh’s efforts with the bat.

“He played a really good knock to get his team closer to our total.”

Earlier in the day, Zimbabwe defeated Nepal by eight wickets thanks to unbeaten centuries of 164 runs by captain Craig Irwin and Shaun Williams.

Chasing a mammoth total of 290, Irvine hit 121 off 128 balls that included 15 fours and a six, while Williams hit 102 off 70 balls as Zimbabwe trailed by two wickets with 35 balls to spare. Scored 291 runs.

At the Harare Sports Club, openers Kushal Bhartel and Asif Shaikh scored 99 and 66 respectively as Nepal scored 290 for eight in their 50 overs.

Wellington Masakadza eventually took the wickets of both Bhurtel and Sheikh and Richard Ngarwa took 4-43 in his nine overs.

In front of a large crowd, Zimbabwe lost Jewelward Gumbi (25) and Wesley Madhwear (32) before Aaron and Williams took over Nepal’s bowling attack.

“We didn’t start really well, dropping catches hurt us but credit to the boys to get it back. We thought 280/290 could be turned around because the wicket looked so good,” Irvine said.

“I think we played well today, tomorrow is a rest day, and that will change quickly when we play Holland next Tuesday.”

The action continues on Monday, with Sri Lanka taking on the United Arab Emirates and Ireland taking on Oman in Group B matches in Bulawayo.

Only two of the 10 teams participating in the three-week qualifiers will qualify for the World Cup in India in October and November.

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