Sean Williams (right) believes the high standard of the group matches at this year's World Cup is a big win for cricket - Photo: Cricket Zimbabwe/Twitter

Zimbabwe veteran Sean Williams believes that the standard displayed in this year's T20 World Cup group matches is vital to cricket's growth.

Despite a 31 run loss to a fired-up West Indies side on Wednesday night, veteran Zimbabwe batting all-rounder Sean Williams believes there are silver linings to come from the performance.

Namely, that the quality of cricket exhibited in Group B of the ICC T20 World Cup has been of top standard.

Tied on one win each from two matches, Zimbabwe, along with fellow developing cricket nations, Ireland and Scotland, and two time champions the West Indies, will be vying for a spot in the Super 12 stage of the tournament in Hobart on Friday.

In Williams’ opinion, the close nature of the matches and the manner in which the teams have played, is a big win for the game of cricket as a whole.

“I think it’s fantastic,” he told media post-match. 

“Through my whole career, it’s been a long one now, it’s nice to see this starting to happen for the sport’s sake.

“I understand for viewing sake and cash sake, you might want to be watching the bigger teams and that’s where they make the money. 

“But for me, for cricket, you see these teams doing well and starting to go further in tournament cricket, it’s huge for the sport.”

Hand in hand with this growth has also been the national pride exhibited by fans at the tournament. So far, no supporter base has been as parochial as the mass of Zimbabwe fans that have made the David Boon stand their second home.

With every boundary hit by their side, hope of reaching great heights has increased dramatically.

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Should ‘The Chevrons’ advance, it will be their first time making it past the group stages since they were introduced to the tournament’s structure in 2014.

The dream of World Cup success is as much the supporter’s to own as it is that of the playing group.

Also speaking to the media in the aftermath of proceedings, Luke Jongwe paid tribute to the legion of vocal Zimbabwe fans, giving thanks for the support.

“We always find our way to (thank) the nationals (in attendance) because some guys who came in today,” he told.

“Some of them had to fly from Townsville, so they had to make some sacrifice to be here.

“We just hope on Friday to reverse the whole thing and be able to win and then make them proud.”

After restricting the West Indies to 7/153, Zimbabwe started strong to be 2/48 from 5 overs in reply. Momentum soon shifted through the bowling of Alzarri Joseph (4/16 from 4) and Jason Holder (3/12 from 3.2), however.

The pair of damaging spells, epitomised by both consistent bounce and damaging yorkers, resulted in Zimbabwe capitulating to be all out for 122.

As a result, a disappointed yet positive Williams believes the side can draw on the loss and bounce back to keep their chances alive.

Attention now turns to addressing their shortcomings against a Scotland side that is full of belief.

“I thought we still had a good game, but there’s lots of lessons to be learned from things like this.” he surmised.

“Our group chat after the game was just (about how) small things start to creep in – fumbles, no balls, dropped catches. Those small things make a very big difference at the end of the day. 

“I think the West Indies bowled really well. Joseph was phenomenal.

“They were in a situation where they had to win and he came to the party as a senior player. 

“Its not nice to lose, but at the same time there’s lots of lessons to learn.”

Zimbabwe returns to action at 7pm AEDT on Friday 21 October for a must-win clash with Scotland. For a full fixture, click here.

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