ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022, Round 1, Group B, Zimbabwe v Scotland: Craig Ervine's 58, Sikandar Raza's 40 & 1-20 and Tendai Chatara's 2-14 are top three performances. Zimbabwe beat Scotland and qualify for Super 12.
Brief Scores: ZIM 133/5 (Ervine 58, Raza 40, Davey 2/16) beat SCO 132/6 (Munsey 54, Macleod 25, Chatara 2/14, Ngarava 2/28) by 5 wickets
Player of the Match: Sikandar Raza (40 off 23 & 1/20)
Scotland who after their opening victory against West Indies in the first round of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 lost their last game against Ireland, locked horns with Zimbabwe who too lost their last game against West Indies. The sixth Group B game of the first round of the World Cup was held at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.
Earlier in the day, Ireland booked a spot in the Super 12 stage knocking out twice world champions, West Indies. The winner of this game would be the second team to qualify.
Zimbabwe continue all-round improvement; Scotland slip again
This one year has been phenomenal for Zimbabwe in the white ball formats. They have been excellent in their batting, bowling and fielding, mostly inspired by their rescue man Sikandar Raza who with some of his wonderful knocks has carried them to new heights.
On the other hand, it has been a disappointing year for Scotland who began the first round of the Men’s T20 World Cup 2022 on a high, beating West Indies. They were stunned against Ireland before losing this essential game to lose another golden chance to be a part of the Super 12 stage.
Zimbabwe survive late scare to earn maiden Super 12 ticket
Scotland captain Richie Berrington, on winning the toss, opted to bat first. While Zimbabwe made one change bringing in their regular captain Craig Ervine back in place of Tony Munyonga, Scotland went into this game with the same eleven that played the last game.
Scotland lost two early wickets in the powerplay to reach 43/2, before slowing down to 65/3 in 10 overs. Opener George Munsey scored a fighting half-century which took them to 91/3 in 15 overs. Later, a flurry of boundaries from Calum Macleod and Chris Greaves carried them to 132/6 in their 20 overs.
Chasing a low score of 133, Zimbabwe looked to be under pressure being punched to 10/2 in three overs. They could only manage to reach 55/3 in 10 overs. Skipper Craig Ervine stood almost till the end for his half-century, while Sikandar Raza with his quickfire 40(23) brought Zimbabwe close to victory as they survived a late scare with a victory by five wickets to get promoted to the Super 12 stage.
Let’s scan the top performances from the game between Scotland and Zimbabwe in ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2022.
Chatara & Ngarava duo broke Scotland’s back with 4/32
For posting a decent total on the board, Scotland required their openers to offer them a good total but Zimbabwe’s new ball bowlers denied them that avenue. With the last ball of his first over, Tendai Chatara sent back opener Michael Jones on 4 who smashed the length ball without any foot movement as the ball flew over the infield where the fielder grabbed a good running catch. With the first ball of the fifth over, Richard Ngarava bagged ‘big fish’ Matthew Cross on 1 who whacked the short ball straight to mid-wicket where the fielder collected a fine diving catch.
Ngarava returned in the 17th over and dealt a huge blow to Scotland by pocketing half-centurion George Munsey who in trying to increase the run rate, flicked the ball without any elevation where the deep square leg fielder grasped another fine catch.
Chatara was excellent with 1/8 in his three overs when he returned for his last over. With the third ball of the last over of the innings, he deposited the wicket of Calum MacLeod (25) who was trapped before the stumps. Ngarava who now has 26 T20I wickets in 26 games, returned figures of 2/28, while Chatara who now has 51 T20I wickets in 43 T20Is, finished with 2/14 in four overs including a maiden.
Raza again saved Zimbabwe with an attacking 40 and 1/20
Sikandar Raza who is almost carrying Zimbabwe on his lone shoulders in the white ball formats of the game, gifted his side an opening victory against Ireland with an all-round show of 82 and 1/22. In this vital qualifying game against Scotland, he again stood tall for his side.
With ball in hand, he recorded the wicket of opponent captain Richie Berrington on 13 who after a struggling innings, went for the slog sweep only to find Milton Shumba at deep mid-wicket. Raza finished with 1/20 in his four overs.
When he walked out for batting, Zimbabwe chasing a low score were under all sorts of pressure being on 42/3 in eight overs. Along with singles and doubles, the veteran batter played an effortless shot over the cover region for his first boundary, before pulling the ball over the deep mid-wicket region using his bottom hand for a maximum.
Raza took on spinner Michael Leask; he lifted one delivery over covers for an outstanding six before clearing his front leg to get a thick edge on a big drive that made the ball fly over backward point for a boundary.
The Zimbabwe batter was dismissed on 40 in just 23 deliveries, that was arranged with three boundaries and couple of sixes at a strike rate of 173.91 to take his career tally to 1176 T20I runs in 61 games.
Craig Ervine’s vital knock of 58 provides stability to Zimbabwe
For Zimbabwe to chase down this low score, they required one of their batters to stay on the crease almost till the end and there was no other man who could perform this role better than their captain Craig Ervine.
Wickets were falling early from one end as Zimbabwe were reduced to 10/2 in three overs, before Ervine used his feet to tuck away the length ball wide of the short fine fielder for a boundary. When Brad Wheal came into the attack, Ervine drove the ball right of the mid-off region before using the same shot for the same result.
With wickets falling from one end, he was doing the right job of changing the strike to keep the scoreboard moving. Sikandar Raza played some expansive shots which took some pressure off Ervine’s shoulders. The left-hand batter with a single flicked towards deep backward square leg celebrated his sixth T20I fifty.
When Ervine was dismissed for 58(54) arranged with six boundaries, he had almost taken Zimbabwe over the line. The Zimbabwe skipper now has 1087 T20I runs in 51 games.
ICC Men's T20 World Cup 2022 Group B Points Table
Points table scenarios and what’s to come
Group B table toppers Zimbabwe with a higher NRR of 0.20 will now move to Group 2 of the Super 12 round, while runners up of this group, Ireland will now find themselves in Group 1. Ireland will meet Sri Lanka on October 23, while Zimbabwe will lock horns with South Africa on October 24. Both games will be played at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart.