Zimbabwe notched a thrilling last-ball victory against a spirited Netherlands in a World Twenty20 qualifier today to stay in contention for the main round.
Needing one run off the last ball, Vusi Sibanda lofted fast bowler Ahsan Malik over long on for a six to get his team over the line at 146-5.
Tom Cooper’s brilliant unbeaten 72 off 58 balls lifted the Netherlands to 140-5 after Zimbabwe had them at 4-35 within the first five overs. Offspinner Prosper Utseya (2-24) claimed two wickets.
Cooper hit nine fours and a six and added 52 runs for the fifth wicket with Ben Cooper (20) before cutting loose in a 53-run stand with Mudassar Bukhari (14 not out).
Zimbabwe’s run chase was smooth as opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza and captain Brendan Taylor put on 62 runs for the second wicket, until medium pacer Pieter Sellar removed Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura within three deliveries.
Taylor scored 49 off 39 balls before he fell in the 19th over with Zimbabwe still needing 15 runs.
“Very basic errors on the boundary cost us 10-15 runs, not good enough for a professional outfit,” Taylor said. “Hopefully, we can rectify that against UAE and we’ll be a chance.”
Ireland defeated Zimbabwe in the first match, and met United Arab Emirates late Wednesday.
Zimbabwe 146-5in 20 overs (Brendan Taylor 49, Hamilton Masakadza 43; Pieter Seelaar 2-9) def.Netherlands 140-5in 20 (Tom Cooper 72 not out, Ben Cooper 20; Prosper Utseya 2-24) by 5 wickets.
Irelnd beat the United Arab Emirates by 21 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis Method at the World Twenty20 on after a game that was cut short by rain and also being twice interrupted by power failures.
Ireland was cruising at 103-3 in the 15th over of the Group B qualifier when the floodlights went out for a second time in 13 minutes – and the rain came down.
Ed Joyce made 43 off 38 balls while captain William Porterfield was unbeaten on 33 before rain stopped further play.
The two seasoned Ireland batsmen took the total to 95 after Paul Stirling was struck on the elbow by a short pitched delivery of Sharif Asadullah in the first over and had to retire hurt in the next over with the total on 15.
UAE hit back in the closing stages with three wickets in the space of six runs, but by that time the outcome was all but decided.
“It was very pleasing to limit them to 120 on that pitch,” Porterfield said. “Paul is fine and we know if we beat Netherlands we are through.”
UAE was earlier restricted to 123-6 with Paul Stirling claiming 2-12 and Kevin O’Brien dismissing top scorer Shaiman Anwar (30) and Amjad Javed (19).
Ireland defeated Zimbabwe in its opening match and is now the favorite to advance after its last qualifier against the Netherlands.
Ireland 103-3 in 14.2 overs(Ed Joyce 43, William Porterfield 33 not out; Sharif Asadullah 2-21)UAE 123-6(Shaiman Anwar 30, Amjad Ali 20; Paul Stirling 2-12, Kevin O’Brien 2-17)
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