Zimbabwe picked up two wins out of two in the ICC World T20 2016 with another nervy-but-it-will-do performance in Nagpur Thursday. The Group B win for the African side at the VCA Stadium meant Scotland are knocked out of the tournament after suffering their second defeat in as many matches.
This will be a World T20 of what might have been for Scotland, who should have won their first match against Afghanistan, while they will feel the same way about this one against Zimbabwe as well.
Choosing to bat first, Zimbabwe scratched their way to 147/7 in their 20 overs, with Sean Williams impressing with a nice half-century, and the match was there for the taking for Scotland.
However, while the middle part of the innings is where they lost their way against Afghanistan, on Thursday it was right at the top. A strange first over saw left-hander George Munsey attempt the reverse-sweep after reverse-sweep to the left-arm orthodox Wellington Masakadza, who finished with brilliant figures of 4-0-28-4, and after succeeding a couple of times, he pressed his luck too much to get stumped off the last ball of the over.
Zimbabwe would pick up three more wickets in the next three overs – four, to be precise in the first 19 balls of the innings – and at 20/4, you felt the match was as good as done.
However, Richie Berrington and skipper Preston Mommsen forged a nice partnership worth 51 – after Michael Leask fell in the eighth over – to keep Scotland in the game, and even if the European side lost two quickfire wickets in over number 15, the chase remained on, thanks to Josh Davey (24, 13b, 1x4, 1x6), who took Tendai Chatara for 18 runs in the 17th over to take the equation to 30 from 18 balls.
A brilliant 18th over from Donald Tiripano, where he conceded just six runs, while also picking up the wicket of Richie Berrington (36, 39b, 1x4, 1x6), however, meant there was just too much for Scotland to do in the end, with the Associate side finishing on xx.
Earlier, Zimbabwe had to thank Williams for his special knock of 53 (36b, 6x4), with Elton Chigumbura, yet again, chipping in with a nice cameo towards the end of the innings to push that total near 150.
With Scotland unable to handle the pressure of the chase a second time, Zimbabwe hung in there for a second victory. The match between Zimbabwe and Afghanistan Saturday is now a win-and-you-are-in-the-Super-10s after the Asian side beat Hong Kong in the later game.
Get the highlights of the match HERE