Zimbabwe Prevail In Another Tight Game
Zimbabwe 146-5 (Taylor 49) beat
Netherlands 140-5 (T Cooper 72no) by 5 wickets
ICC World Twenty20 2014 Group B, Sylhet
Zimbabwe kept their hopes of qualifying for the main stage of the ICC World T20 alive after defeating the Netherlands in a last-ball thriller in Sylhet - their second in three days.
Vusi Sibanda dispatched Ahsan Malik deep into the stands with the last ball of the game to seal the win for Zimbabwe.
The game was vital for both sides as they looked to manoeuvre themselves into a position to overhaul Ireland before the final round of qualification matches.
Chasing 141 to win, Brendan Taylor led his side's run chase alongside Hamilton Masakadza (43), reaching 85 for one from 13 overs at which point they seemingly had the game well under control.
Taylor’s innings was well paced and showed he was a cut above the rest, however he fell to a brilliant catch at extra cover to his opposite number, Peter Borren, after making 49 from 39 balls.
Masakadza and Taylor had put Zimbabwe in control and looked belligerent, taking 13 from Tom Cooper’s only over.
It was Masakadza’s wicket, part of a double wicket over from Pieter Seelaar, that precipitated the Zimbabwean collapse. Elton Chigumbura fell two balls later to leave his side wobbling at 87 for three.
Sean Williams then tried to guide the Zimbabwean run chase and with just seven required from the final over appeared to have victory in sight. However, with just two runs coming from the first two deliveries the pressure was on.
Williams relieved the pressure in fortuitous circumstances, with an inside edge past a diving Wesley Barresi to secure a crucial boundary.
The game had one more twist in the tale however, and with just one run needed, Williams was run out in dramatic circumstances to leave the scores tied with one delivery remaining.
Borren brought his fielders in and applied pressure to Sibanda but the former skipper responded with a resounding shot that landed deep into the stands over long-on to seal the vital victory for Zimbabwe.
The Dutch innings didn’t start well after winning the toss in Sylhet with Prosper Utseya trapping Myburgh LBW first ball.
Wesley Barresi looked in good touch but only shined briefly scoring 12 from six balls before Tinashe Panyangara pegged back his leg stump to leave the Netherlands in trouble at 14 for two. The Netherlands continued to shoot themselves in the foot with Michael Swart run out for just three.
Tom Cooper and Peter Borren attempted to rebuild and were helped on their way by some extremely generous fielding from Zimbabwe. However, they could only push Netherlands onto 35 before captain Borren was fourth out after a mistimed lofted drive against Utseya presented an easy catch for Elton Chigumbura.
The Cooper brothers, Tom and younger sibling Ben, rebuilt for the Netherlands by accumulating against some wayward spin from Sean Williams and Natsai M’Shangwe reaching 62 for four at the halfway stage.
The Dutch progressed smoothly to 87 until Ben Cooper was dismissed for 20 from 24 balls, holing out to long on off the bowling of M’Shangwe.
Tom Cooper looked a cut above the rest during his innings of 72 from 58 balls, consistently moving across to the off side to work the ball into the legside with his favoured sweep shot.
Cooper boosted the Dutch total up to 140 for five after their 20 overs and although it appeared a little below par for the pitch they had given their bowlers something to work with.
The bowlers, however, couldn’t quite do enough and now the Dutch are relying on fortuitous results in the final round of matches on Friday to stand a chance of qualification.
© Cricket World 2014