Lawrence Moyo-Head Zimpapers Sports
ZIMBABWE lost the chance to win the T20 International cricket series against Namibia as they were defeated by seven wickets in the fourth match of the series at the United Sports Ground in Windhoek yesterday.
The series is now tied at 2-2, with the decider taking place at the same venue this afternoon.
The Chevrons won the toss and captain Craig Ervine opted to bat first despite the fact that all matches in this series have been won by the team chasing.
Nicholas Welch was dropped from the team with Innocent Kaia coming in to partner Tinashe Kamunhukamwe for the first wicket.
However, the opening partnership failed as Kaia was run out for 15 off eight balls in the third over.
This meant the Chevrons’ opening partnership had failed to last the powerplay in all four matches in the series.
In the opening match, both openers (Welch and Ervine) fell for ducks with Zimbabwe reduced to 2/2 in the second over, while in the second match, Welch fell for 25 in the fifth over at 32/1 and then Welch fell for 10 in the first over of the third match.
Welch made his debut for Zimbabwe in the opener and made 35 runs in three innings, which explains his axing for yesterday’s match.
Kamunhukamwe has done better with 68 runs in two innings at number two.
He made a run-a-ball 32 yesterday and featured in the highest partnership of the innings, 43 runs for the second wicket with Ervine.
Ervine finished unbeaten on 54 from 43 balls as Chevrons stumbled to 153/6 in their 20 overs.
Any hopes of a huge total seemingly evaporated when the Chevrons’ highest scorer and all-rounder, Sikanda Raza, was out for just two runs in four balls as Zimbabwe slumped to 66/3 in the 11th over.
The Chevrons’ middle order failed to click with all-rounder Ryan Burl adding just 13 from 11 balls, Carl Mumba eight runs from nine balls and Wessly Madhevere making just seven from five balls while Faraz Akram was 10 not out from nine balls at the end of the innings.
Namibia got off to a solid start and made 82 for the first wicket in 8.1 overs when Burl removed Michael van Lingen and made it 85/2 with the wicket of Nikolaas Davin five balls later.
However, any hopes of a collapse disappeared as Jan Frylinck and captain Gerhard Erasmus steadied the innings with a 54-run stand for the third wicket before Frylinck was bowled by Chatara for 29 off 26 to depart in the 17th over.
Erasmus ensured they cruised to victory with eight balls to spare and was named player-of-the-match for his 2-21 (Kamunhukamwe and Raza) in four overs with the ball, two catches to dismiss Madhevere and Burl and an unbeaten 31 in 28 balls with the bat.