Zimbabwe kept alive their hopes of reaching the group stage of the World Twenty20 with a last-ball, six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in Sylhet.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat first, the Netherlands made a chaotic start, before Tom Cooper led their recovery to a total of 140-5 in their 20 overs.
In response, Zimbabwe started solidly, but when Hamilton Masakadza's patient, anchoring innings was cut short for 43, the required run rate squeezed upwards and made for an enthralling finish.
They should have still reached the target with ease, but with the scores level going into the final ball, Vusi Sibanda launched Ahsan Malik over the ropes for a six.
After the last-ball defeat to Ireland in their opener, Zimbabwe's hopes are hanging by a thread. They now have to beat the United Arab Emirates in their final game and hope that their group rivals slip up in their remaining fixtures.
|World T20 2014: Netherlands vs. Zimbabwe, Full Scorecard|
|Swart||run out (Chatara)||3||15||8|
|Borren||c Chigumbura||b Utseya||8||13||7|
|Cooper||c Panyangara||b Mushangwe||20||30||24|
|Extras||0nb 4w 4b 3lb||11|
|Total||for 5||140||(20.0 ovs)|
|H Masakadza||b Seelaar||43||52||45|
|Raza||c Seelaar||b Jamil||13||18||12|
|Taylor||c Borren||b van der Gugten||49||57||39|
|Chigumbura||c Borren||b Seelaar||0||2|
|Williams||run out (Jamil)||26||29||19|
|Extras||0nb 4w 1b 1lb||6|
|Total||for 5||146||(20.0 ovs)|
|van der Gugten||4.0||0||22||1|
The Netherlands did not look like posing a threat when they began their innings in Sylhet in such slip-shod fashion.
The innings was three balls old when Stephan Myburgh fell for a duck to the teasing off-spin of Prosper Utseya. Wesley Barresi fell in the following over, and Michael Swart's run-out left them 19-3 after just 19 balls of the innings.
When captain Peter Borren fell in the fifth over, the Dutch looked to be in tatters, but the combination of Cooper and his brother Ben turned the innings around.
Tom was measured and crafty with nine boundaries and a six in his unbeaten 58-ball 72, while Ben simply played around him and allowed his brother to shine.
140 did not look daunting, but Zimbabwe took it on in a measured way, and that kept the Dutch in the contest.
Ahsan Malik accounted for Sikandar Raza, meaning that skipper Brendan Taylor joined Masakadza in the middle. They accumulated rather than attacked, so when Masakadza fell and Elton Chigumbura departed two balls later, the 54 runs in 6.1 overs suddenly looked a tall challenge.
But Taylor took charge of the chase, with Logan van Beek's 17th over costing 15 runs.
Still the Dutch kept fighting—Taylor's departure for 49 from 39 balls, via a brilliant Peter Borren catch, with the end in sight gave them renewed hope. Then, a comedy of errors in the final over, with Sean Williams run out, made the last ball critical.
Sibanda made no mistake.
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