Chevrons In Another Great Escape
Zimbabwe 210 (Ervine 57, Taylor 44, Sharif 5/33, Leask 4/37) Scotland 210 (Berrington 47, Cremer 3/23, Chisoro 3/42) Match Tied
ZIMBABWE pulled off yet another great escape, this time around against Scotland, with the two top teams in group B concluding with a tie at Queens Sports Club on Monday.
The contest went to the wire with Scotland requiring two runs to win in the last over sent down by Blessing Muzarabani. The lanky pace bowler sent down a wide which tied the scores and with the next legal delivery, he had Brad Wheal caught behind by Brendan Taylor and the scores ended the same.
Cremer felt that the Zimbabwean batsmen went out to soft dismissals with his honest view being that they should have lost the match.
“A bit nerve wrecking, to be honest again it was an excellent fight with the ball and on the field but we shouldn’t have been in that position to try and defend 210. I felt there were too many soft dismissals when we were batting. We felt like we dodged a bullet there, they should have probably beaten us there but again good fight, come away with a point, we will take that,’’ he said.
Zimbabwe finished on top of the group with seven points while Scotland ended second with the same number. Afghanistan, beaten by Zimbabwe and Scotland still made it to the next stage after Nepal defeated Hong Kong at Bulawayo Athletic Club.
Since points against teams that did not make it to the next round are thrown away, Zimbabwe head into the Super Six with three points.
The Chevrons now travel to Harare where they play against Ireland on Friday, take on West Indies next Monday with both fixtures at Harare Sports Club and then clash with United Arab Emirates next Thursday at Old Hararians.
Craig Ervine had earlier on top scored with 57, followed by 44 from Taylor in Zimbabwe bowled out for 210 in 46.4 overs. Opening bowler Safyaan Sharif and left arm spinner Michael Leask did the damage for Scotland. Man of the match Sharif picked five for 33 in 8.4 overs while Leask had four for 37 in eight.
Having defended 196 against Afghanistan at the same venue a week ago, Zimbabwe must have felt that they had another chance to pull off a sensational victory. Left arm spinner Tendai Chisoro picked up two wickets in succession. Matthew Cross was the first to fall, taken at cover by Sean Williams. Tom Sole followed, taken behind by Taylor.
Zimbabwe claimed the big wicket of Calum MacLeod, left arm spinner Williams getting him taken in the deep by Ervine. Cremer won the battle of the captains, getting his opposite number Kyle Coetzer for 39. Cremer could have had his second wicket, Richie Berrington offering a difficult chance which was not taken.
A 76- run partnership between Berrington and George Munsey for the fifth wicket took Scotland closer to their target. Cremer broke the stand he had Berrington taken by Raza for 47, the highest score by a Scottish batsman on the day.
The skipper struck again in the next over, Munsey popping one up to be taken by Taylor. Chisoro picked up his third, getting Craig Wallace leg before wicket to leave the Scots 170 for seven, still needing 41 runs to win. He was shortly followed by Sharif who was caught and bowled by Raza.
Seamer Tendai Chatara had Mark Watt in the penultimate over with the Scots requiring just two runs to win.
It looked like Muzarabani had thrown it away when he gave away that extra but the young bowler got the last wicket to ensure that his team took a point. Cremer and Chisoro had three wickets apiece; Williams, Muzarabani and Chatara had one wicket apiece.