Home Cricket Zimbabwe clinch Super 12 spot after beating Scotland by 5 wickets

Zimbabwe clinch Super 12 spot after beating Scotland by 5 wickets

Zimbabwe clinch Super 12 spot after beating Scotland by 5 wickets

Craig Ervine played a captain’s knock hitting 58 off 54 balls while danger man Sikandar Raza made 40 as Zimbabwe defeated Scotland by five wickets in the first round of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 at the Bellerive Oval to finish atop Group B and clinch the final Super 12 spot.

Tendai Chatara and Richard Ngarava took two wickets each in a clinical bowling performance, restricting Scotland to 132/6 in 20 overs. However, Zimbabwe were in trouble at 42/3 in eight overs.

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But Ervine, who hit his sixth T20I fifty, and Raza shared a 64-run partnership off 43 balls, while Milton Shumba and Ryan Burl did their part for Zimbabwe as they chased down the total with nine balls to spare. Zimbabwe last played in the T20 World Cup in 2016.

Leading Group B, Zimbabwe are in Group 2 of the Super 12 alongside India, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and the Netherlands. Ireland will move to Group 1 alongside defending champions Australia, Afghanistan, England, New Zealand and Sri Lanka.

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Needing 133 to win, Zimbabwe suffered huge blows as Regis Chakabva and Wesley Madhevere were sent packing within the first two overs by Brad Wheal and Josh Davey. Sean Williams was dismissed cheaply too, holing out to deep square leg off Michael Leask’s bowling.

Ervine and Raza played patiently while keeping the scoreboard ticking. Raza then decided to start attacking by first piercing the gap between cover and long-off in the 11th over bowled by Safyaan Sharif.

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Raza took to the Scottish spinners, using his bottom hand and powerful hands to hit two sixes and a four while Ervine played the anchor role before reaching a well-deserved fifty.

Raza was out after a crucial knock of 40, offering an edge behind after a pull off Davey. Two overs later, Ervine mistimed a lofted drive to running mid-off but the match was already in Zimbabwe’s favour. Burl completed the chase with a four smashed over mid-on to seal their Super 12 spot.

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Earlier, Scotland were unable to capitalise after captain Richie Berrington chose to bat first. None of the batters clicked aside from top-scorer George Munsey, who made 54 off 51 balls, as Zimbabwe’s bowlers combined well to keep them in check.

Zimbabwe’s bowlers maintained straight lines and their spinners kept things tight, not conceding a single six throughout the innings – a first in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2022. Scotland lost openers Michael Jones and Matthew Cross in 4.1 overs. Munsey, Berrington and Calum MacLeod tried to get going but never got the momentum needed to reach a big total.

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Munsey and Berrington put on 40 runs together followed by a 34-run partnership between the former and MacLeod. Munsey held the innings together, but was not very effective. After scoring 33 runs off his first 22 balls, Munsey only managed 21 runs off his next 29 balls. Scotland’s partnerships didn’t come at a fast scoring rate as Zimbabwe’s bowlers were disciplied throughout.

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Brief Scores

Scotland 132/6 in 20 overs (George Munsey 54, Calum MacLeod 25; Tendai Chatara 2/14, Richard Ngarava 2/28)

Zimbabwe 133/5 in 18.3 overs (Craig Ervine 58, Sikandar Raza 40; Josh Davey 2/16, Brad Wheal 1/26)