Head Zimpapers Sports
NAMIBIA made it a hat-trick of victories over Zimbabwe in Twenty20 cricket internationals after beating the Chevrons by seven wickets in the opening of a five-match series in Windhoek yesterday.
The two sides met in Zimbabwe last year and Namibia won a similar five-match series 3-2.
The visitors claimed the last two at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
It means the two countries’ T201 record now stands at 4-2.
Namibia won with 38 balls to spare, the earliest that a T20I between the sides has been decided.
It betters the eight-wicket win by Zimbabwe in the third T20I on May 31 last year, which came with 17 balls to spare as the Chevrons chased 128 in 17.1 overs.
Zimbabwe won the toss, elected to bat and made a lowly 128/9 with a top score of 39, from 35 balls, from Sikandar Raza while Wessly Madhevere and Luke Jongwe (not out) made 22 each.
It was a chaotic start for Zimbabwe whose openers fell for ducks with debutant Nick Welch departing first ball while captain Craig Ervine lasted six balls.
Ryan Burl blasted three fours in the third over, which went for 13, but soon departed for 14 off nine balls and when Innocent Kaia fell for four in six balls, Zimbabwe had slumped to 22/4 in 4.3 overs.
Raza and Madhevere tried to repair the damage and made 39 for the fifth wicket before the latter departed in the 12th over with Zimbabwe 61/5.
Jongwe’s cameo at number nine, scoring a run-a-ball 22, ensured Namibia’s response would at last at least 10 overs.
Merwe Gerhard Erasmus claimed three wickets for 15 in four overs while all the other six bowlers took a wicket each on what was a comfortable afternoon for the hosts.
Needing just 6.4 an over for victory, Namibia were powered by opener and man-of-the-match Nikolaas Davin, who hit an unbeaten 80 off 44 balls, including eight fours and four sixes.
He sealed victory with a six off Raza.
Richard Ngarava took two wickets for 15 in three overs while Jongwe claimed the other one, an 11th over dismissal of Jan Frylinck which earned Burl a record for the most catches in T20 internationals for Zimbabwe.