BULAWAYO – Tendai Chatara defended 14 runs off the final over as Zimbabwe beat Namibia by seven runs in the first T20I between the two countries. Chatara delivered a final over laced with yorkers and claimed the wicket of Zane Green, who had breached the boundary twice at the death, to seal a memorable win.

Namibia were in the hunt throughout their innings chasing 154 to win, and in the driving seat in the first half after a 67-run opening stand between Craig Williams and debutant Divan la Cock, before the Zimbabwe spinners stalled their charge. Brandon Mavuta had Williams caught at deep midwicket and, in the next over, Milton Shumba dismissed captain Gerhard Erasmus thanks to a good catch from Donald Tiripano, who ran back from point to take a skier.

Shumba had Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton stumped four overs later, the delivery after la Cock had brought up an aggressive half-century, off 36 balls, and then claimed the key wicket of la Cock, in the 17th over. With 35 runs required off 21 balls, la Cock dragged a wide delivery from outside off stump to deep midwicket, where Luke Jongwe took a few steps to his left to complete the catch. That left it to David Wiese and Green to finish off, but Wiese could not find the boundary and Namibia ended a shot away from forcing a Super Over.

Zimbabwe, who are using this series as preparation for the T20 World Cup Qualifier in July, will breathe a sigh of relief after they were kept in check by a disciplined Namibia attack. Wessley Madhevere and Regis Chakabva put on 33 in the first four overs but were dismissed within two overs of each other to leave Zimbabwe 44 for 2 just after the powerplay. Bernard Scholtz took both wickets and finished as the best of Namibia’s eight bowlers with 2 for 19 and an economy rate of 4.75 runs. He was also one of only two Namibia bowlers – Jan Frylinck the other – who completed their full quota of overs.

Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza put on 71 runs for the third wicket and lifted the scoring rate above seven runs an over to take Zimbabwe to 114 for 2 after 15 overs. Then Raza was dismissed lbw by Erasmus and Shumba caught for four, which threatened to leave Ervine without a finishing partner. The Zimbabwe captain took on the big-hitting role himself and brought up his fifth T20I half-century off 38 balls with a six in the final over of the innings, but may have wondered if they had enough on the board after the way Namibia began their reply.

Source: ESPNCricinfo


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here