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Zimbabwe Dominates World Cup Qualifier Opener, Defeating Nepal by 8 Wickets

In a sensational start to their 2023 World Cup qualifier campaign, Zimbabwe exhibited their dominance with an emphatic eight-wicket victory over Nepal at the Harare Sports Club Sunday.

 

The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first, aiming to exploit the typically bowling-friendly morning pitch conditions.

The wicket turned out to be unexpectedly flat, providing an opportunity that Nepal capitalised on with an impressive opening partnership of 171 runs between Kushal Bhurtel and Aasif Sheikh.

However, their flourishing stand was finally halted by Wellington Masakadza, who dismissed the dangerous Bhurtel for a commendable 99 runs and Sheikh for a solid 66 runs, leaving Nepal at 174-2.

Zimbabwe’s pace bowler, Richard Ngarava, came to the fore and managed to curtail Nepal’s scoring rate in the latter part of the innings, claiming four crucial wickets for just 43 runs with an impressive economy rate of 4.77.

Nepal eventually posted a total of 290/8 in their allotted 50 overs.

ICC Men’s World Cup Qualifier 2023. picture by Zimbabwe Cricket

Zimbabwe’s run chase encountered a few early hiccups as opening batsman Joylord Gumbie departed for 25 runs, falling victim to Kami Sompal’s lbw trap. Despite the setback, Wessly Madhevere failed to convert his promising start and was dismissed for 32.

However, the third-wicket partnership between skipper Craig Ervine and Sean Williams proved to be pivotal for the Chevrons as they steered their team to victory.

The duo crafted a magnificent 164-run partnership, with both batsmen reaching centuries.

Williams smashed a scintillating 102 runs off just 70 balls. Ervine showcased his class with a magnificent 121-run knock, guiding Zimbabwe to a resounding triumph.

Zimbabwe is set to face the Netherlands on Tuesday, June 20th, as they strive to secure their second victory in the qualifier tournament.

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