Chevrons dispatch US to book semi-final spot
Senior Sports Reporter
SIKANDAR Raza once again put up a player of the match performance to power Zimbabwe to a 46-run win over the US at Queens Sports Club and finish on top of Group A in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B yesterday.
Zimbabwe’s win means they will take on Papua New Guinea in a semifinal encounter at the same venue this afternoon while the US have a date with Netherlands at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
Winners of these semi-final matches will take the two available tickets to this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup scheduled for Australia later this year.
What it means is that Zimbabwe just need to beat PNG this afternoon to secure a ticket to Australia.
Raza hammered an unbeaten 82 off 40 balls, slammed seven fours and five sixes. It was Raza’s second highest score in T20 Internationals.
Raza’s half century partnership for the fourth wicket with Sean Williams, whose contribution with the bat was 37 runs saw Zimbabwe post a commanding 185/6 in 20 overs after winning the toss and opting to bat first. It was Raza’s second Player of the Match display after he picked up the accolade in Zimbabwe’s opening match of the tournament against Singapore, on a day when he scored 87 runs, his highest score in this format of the game.
USA could not only manage 139/8 in 20 overs, their best individual contribution coming from Steven Taylor who made 46 at the top of the order. Left arm spinner Wellington Masakadza was Zimbabwe’s best bowler with four wickets for 11 runs in four overs.
Taylor got USA to a flying start in their run chase. He put on 55 for the first wicket with skipper Monank Patel. Richard Ngarava provided the much-needed breakthrough for Zimbabwe, with Patel caught by Sean Williams.
Aaron Jones did not last long at the crease, left arm spinner Williams taking him out for seven, Milton Shumba with the catch in the deep.
Masakadza was introduced into the attack in the 11th over and picked up two wickets. First to depart was USA’s danger man Taylor, who went for 46, Shumba again with the safe hands in the deep before Jaskaran Malhotra was bowled two balls later.
Masakadza had his third wicket, Gajanand Singh getting the ball into the hands of Ryan Burl and at that stage the USA were reeling under pressure. The required run rate was now mounting, the USA could not keep up and eventually fell short.
Zimbabwe enjoyed great support from the fans who turned up in their numbers since entry into the match was free. In the crowd were some Highlanders players and their coaches.
Zimbabwe 185/6 (Raza 82, Williams 37, Chakabva 31, Patel 2/24, Jones 2/37) beat United States 139/8 20 overs (Taylor 46, Nisarg Patel 24*, Masakadza 4/11) by 46 runs