HAMILTON MASAKADZA continues to celebrate his captaincy with top-drawer performances for Zimbabwe. Second-best to Richmond Mutumbami in the first ICC World Twenty20 warm-up match against the local state team at the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association ground on Thursday, Masakadza on Saturday took matters into his own hands in Zimbabwe’s second warm-up match and batted through the innings at the same venue.
He finished with an unbeaten 68 runs made from 49 balls, which included nine boundaries with six of them maximums. Mutumbami this time round was second-best with 29 runs off 18 balls, five of them fours, before he was bowled by Kevin O’Brien.
Masakadza’s fellow opener, Vusumuzi Sibanda (29), was the first Zimbabwe wicket to fall when he was bowled by Boyd Rankin with the second ball of the sixth over, with Zimbabwe on 46 runs.
But Masakadza led from the front to ensure that Zimbabwe would register a morale-raising win over Ireland following Thursday’s defeat. Peter Moor was with the captain at the crease when Zimbabwe reached the target.
After not scoring off the first two balls he faced, Moor hit a six off the third ball of his one-minute occupation to seal the win with 13 balls to spare. Earlier, Masakadza had won the toss and sent Ireland in to bat, under a cloudy sky in Dharamshala.
Number three Gary Wilson led their scoring with a 35-ball 38 runs and opener and captain William Porterfield made 31, as Ireland finished their allotted 20 overs with 155 runs for eight wickets.
Tendai Chatara claimed two wickets for 33 runs in four overs and Tawanda Mupariwa two for 36 also in four.
Donald Tiripano, Wellington Masakadza and Sean Williams picked up one wicket each.
Hamilton Masakadza was chosen as the player of the match.
“After I got through the first six overs, the plan was for me to bat through the innings.
“It definitely got better to bat second and it was just a matter of staying with the guys and building partnerships. We did that today which we didn’t manage to do in the first game. Looking at it, the partnerships we had was a big positive for the guys,” the captain said post-match.
On Sunday, the Zimbabwe touring party will fly to Delhi and then connect to Nagpur, for their ICC World Twenty20 qualifying group B matches against Hong Kong, Scotland and Afghanistan on March 8, 10 and 12.
Ireland – 155 for 8 in 20 overs (Gary Wilson 38, William Porterfield 31; Tendai Chatara 2/33, Tawanda Mupariwa 2/36)
Zimbabwe – 160 for 4 in 17.5 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 68*, Richmond Mutumbami 29; Craig Young 1/18)
Zimbabwe won by six wickets with 13 balls remaining. – zimcricket.org