Zimbabwe registered a comprehensive five-wicket win over Scotland in their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup encounter in Hobart on Friday to book their berth in the Super 12 stage of the mega event.
Richie Berrington’s decision to bat first after winning the toss didn’t turn out well for Scotland as they lost the wickets of Michael Jones and Matthew Cross quite early in the innings.
The likes of George Munsey, Berrington and Calum MacLeod tried their best to lead Scotland’s recovery but they never got the necessary momentum and acceleration they needed. Munsey batted well to build stands of 40 and 34 runs with Berrington and Macleod respectively, but the partnerships didn’t come at a swift scoring rate. Munsey, who scored 54, also consumed 51 deliveries without providing any useful impetus to the innings.Craig Ervine and his men needed a steady start to lay the foundation for this chase. But they suffered two early jolts as they lost the wickets of Regis Chakabva and Wesley Madhevere with just seven runs on the board.
Scotland got the early breakthroughs they needed to defend their total and they had to thank Brad Wheal and Mark Watt for helping them get those wickets.Craig Ervine stood tall when his side needed him the most as he played a superb knock of 58 from 54 deliveries to get Zimbabwe home. He was involved in two crucial stands of 35 and 64 with Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza respectively, which helped in steadying Zimbabwe’s ship.
Sikandar Raza has made it a habit of delivering consistently with both bat and ball. The veteran all-rounder bowled a super spell of 4-0-20-1 earlier in the match and then followed it up with an unbeaten knock of 40 from just 23 balls to take Zimbabwe into the Super 12s. He made a huge impact on the result of this match with his all-round contribution.