Wednesday, December 7, 2022

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Zimbabwe crumble in final T20I as Namibia seal historic series win

Zimbabwe suffered a 32-run defeat at the hands of Namibia in the fifth and final T20I match at Queens Sports Club on Tuesday, giving the tourists an historic series victory.

Going into the match level at two wins apiece, the hosts won the toss and decided to put the visitors in to bat first.

For three overs Namibia made a strong showing, with Craig Williams and Michael van Lingen rattling up 31 runs to give them a cracking start.

But then van Lingen, who hit two fours and scored 12 off seven balls, was caught at the wicket by Richmond Mutumbami off Brad Evans, and Namibia were never to have it so good again.

Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton stayed in with Williams to score nine off 10 balls, 17 runs coming off the next three overs before he was bowled by Jongwe for nine.

Jongwe then struck a major blow when he had Gerhard Erasmus, the hero of Sunday’s match, caught at the wicket second ball without scoring, and wickets continued to fall steadily.

Williams played a superb innings, but four middle-order batters came and went for single-figure scores – two wickets to Jongwe and two to Sikandar Raza.

Jan Frylinck then came in at 84 for five in the 12th over and played with more stability.

At 97, Williams’ fine innings came to an end at 48 with a run-out, Donald Tiripano fielding the ball, after he had faced 39 balls and hit five fours.

Frylinck was then stumped off Wessly Madhevere for 15 off 21 balls, and in the 17th over Namibia were in deep trouble at 106 for eight.

The bowlers could not finish off the innings, though, as Ruben Trumpelmann hit out boldly, while Bernard Scholtz held his end up in support.

Trumpelmann scored 19 not out off 14 balls, with a six and a four, while the partnership added 21 vital runs.

The innings finished at 127 for eight, giving Zimbabwe a target they should be able to reach.

There were two wickets each to Jongwe, Raza and Madhevere, all for less than 20 runs, which was commendable bowling.

Zimbabwe began the chase comfortably enough, with Madhevere and Innocent Kaia scoring 23 together for the first wicket.

However, when Madhevere fell lbw to Frylinck for 10 in the fourth over, disaster struck.

The same bowler bowled out the new man, Regis Chakabva, with his next delivery, and then Kaia was run out for 12.

Three wickets had gone down in four runs, and Zimbabwe were reeling at 27 for three.

The experience of Raza and the cool head of Tony Munyonga now had to repair the damage and put Zimbabwe on the right path again.

For the most part they scored in singles, waiting for the bad balls to look for boundaries.

They added 26 in 4.3 overs before Namibia broke through again, and Raza was caught at the wicket off Ben Shikongo for 12 – 53 for four in the ninth over.

One run later, Mutumbami was bowled by Scholtz, and Zimbabwe were now in serious trouble at 54 for five.

Tiripano batted usefully for three overs, as he and Munyonga scored mainly in singles, until he was caught off Erasmus for 11 off 15 balls, the score now being 72 for six in the 13th over.

Jongwe now joined Munyonga, but the bowling and fielding was too tight for them to score easily, and the run rate rose steadily to more than 10 an over.

Effectively the last nail was hammered into the home side’s coffin when Munyonga was bowled by Wiese after 17 overs for a fine fighting innings of 28 off 31 balls – the only Zimbabwe batter to score more than 12 runs in the match.

The score was now 88 for seven, with 40 runs needed off the final three overs.

Jongwe was then run out for seven, Brad Evans bowled by Erasmus for two, and finally Brandon Mavuta was caught off Trumpelmann to complete the rout for 95 runs with five balls left unbowled.

All six bowlers used took at least one wicket, with Frylinck and Erasmus picking up two.

This is Namibia’s first T20I series victory against a Full Member.

Namibia – 127-8 in 20 overs (Craig Williams 48, Ruben Trumpelmann 19*, Jan Frylinck 15; Wessly Madhevere 2/15, Luke Jongwe 2/16, Sikandar Raza 2/18)

Zimbabwe – 95 all out in 19.1 overs (Tony Munyonga 28, Innocent Kaia 12, Sikandar Raza 12; Gerhard Erasmus 2/9, Jan Frylinck 2/25, Ben Shikongo 1/9)

Namibia won by 32 runs

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