Windies and Zimbabwe deliver more crushing wins
A hat-trick from pace bowler Kemar Roach completed West Indies' 215-run victory over Netherlands at New Delhi in Group B, while a fine team effort from Zimbabwe helped carve out a 175-run win over Canada at Nagpur in Group A.
The surrenders were fairly dismal as the Dutch were bowled out for just 115 in 31.3 overs in reply to 330 by West Indies, while Canada managed 123 off 42.1 in reply to Zimbabwe's 298.
The results suggest a decision by the International Cricket Council to reduce its showcase tournament from 14 to ten teams at the 2015 World Cup is now being vindicated.
Roach helped himself to his hat-trick when the writing was on the wall for the Netherlands. Chasing 331, the Dutch were already tottering at 115 for seven in 31 overs when Roach came on to strike with the first three deliveries of a new over to finish with figures of 6-27.
West Indian skipper Darren Sammy termed Roach's effort "brilliant" and said the win had given the team confidence ahead of its next engagement against Bangladesh in Dhaka on Friday. "Obviously, we did a lot of good things, so we'll look to review this game and see how we bowl. It might be a different wicket but obviously we'll look to capitalise and repeat against Bangladesh the good things we did in this game."
Earlier, West Indies batsmen Chris Gayle compiled a neat 80 and Kieron Pollard got 60 off only 27 deliveries for the fastest half-century so far in this World Cup.
At Nagpur, Zimbabwe gained some valuable confidence in their batting and spin bowling.
Experienced wicketkeeper-batsman Tatenda Taibu made a fluent 98 off 99 balls and Craig Ervine scored 85 off 81. "We've shown on the batting side we now have a bit of confidence," Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura said.
Left-arm spinner Raymond Price used the new ball well, his 3-16 knocking off the Canada top order, among them Nitish Kumar who, at 16, became the youngest to play in a cricket World Cup, scoring just one before being dismissed by Price.