Mehluli Sibanda in BULAWAYO
ZIMBABWE suffered the embarrassment of being the first International Cricket Council full member to lose a Twenty20 International cricket series to Namibia when the determined Eagles overwhelm the Chevrons by 32 runs in the fifth and final T20I played at Queens Sports Club yesterday to take the five-match contest 3-2.
With all to play for as the series was tied at 2-2, it was a pedestrian approach from the Zimbabweans, especially in their run chase, while the Namibians were more determined and hungrier to win it which carried the day for the visitors. The Zimbabwean bowlers had done well to limit Namibia to 127/8 in 20 overs only for the batsmen to let the team down. Zimbabwe bowled out for 95 in 19.1 overs.
Man-of-the-match Craig Williams top scored for the Namibians with 48 off 39 deliveries, with the next best score being Ruben Trumpelmann’s 19 from 14 balls.
Zimbabwe’s run chase never got going as soon as their star batsman Wesley Madhevere fell leg before wicket to Jan Frylinck for 10 runs. Tony Munyonga gave Zimbabwe some hope with 28 off 31 runs but when he was bowled by David Wiese, all optimism evaporated for the home team and they were eventually wiped out in the last over.
In the individual accolades, Bernard Scholtz took the bowler of the series, batsman of the tournament went to Madhevere and Namibian captain Gerhard Erasmus took the player of the series accolade.
Zimbabwe have to engage in some serious introspection as they gear up for more action early next month at home against Afghanistan. The Asians are heading to Zimbabwe for three One Day Internationals and five T20Is, all at Harare Sports Club. For the Namibian players and coaching staff, which includes former South African pace bowler Morne Morkel, winning their first ever T20I series over an ICC Full Member meant a lot and they could be seen celebrating on the pitch while their Zimbabwean counterparts were a disappointed lot.
Namibia 127/8 20 overs (Williams 48, Madhevere 2/15, Jongwe 2/16, Raza 2/18) beat Zimbabwe 95 19.1 overs (Munyonga 28, Erasmus 2/9, Frylinck 2/25) by 32 runs