Zimbabwe finished their preliminary campaign at the World Twenty20 in style with a resounding five-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates in Sylhet—but they must wait on the result of Ireland vs. Netherlands to see if their campaign continues.
If Ireland win, they qualify—but anything less and their net run rate will slip behind the Zimbabweans', and that will be the end for the men in green.
Asked to bat first, the Emiratis' score of 116-9 from their 20 overs looked light, and so it proved.
The Zimbabweans did wobble, reaching 34-4 at one point, but Elton Chigumbura's quickfire unbeaten 50 turned that fragility into a decisive win with more than six overs to spare.
|Anwar||c Taylor||b Chatara||6||3||6|
|Asif||run out (Raza)||1||6||3|
|Khurram Khan||c Chigumbura||b Williams||26||31||27|
|Mustafa||run out (Chatara)||4||12||8|
|Amjad Javed||c Panyangara||b Raza||8||15||10|
|Raza||c Mushangwe||b Williams||0||4|
|Kamran Shazad||b Chatara||21||13||15|
|Extras||0nb 4w 0b 1lb||5|
|H Masakadza||b Guruge||2||5||4|
|Raza||c Kamran Shazad||b Raza||9||28||14|
|Taylor||c Anwar||b Silva||15||4||7|
|Williams||c and b Guruge||0||3||3|
|Sibanda||c and b Khurram Khan||16||24||19|
|Extras||0nb 0w 1b 0lb||1|
|Total||for 5||118||(13.4 ovs)|
Khurram Khan (26) and Swapnil Patel (30) were the only two batsmen for the minnows to make a true impression, building a platform of 66-2 at one stage before falling around the halfway mark.
And with them, their hopes largely evaporated. The middle order came and went for a string of single-figure scores, the tail chipped in when it was already too late.
Slow left-armer Sean Williams recorded the surprise best figures with 3-15 from his four overs, strangling the life out of the innings.
Cool heads would surely have eased Zimbabwe to victory, but their best batsmen gave it away too easily. Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor and Williams were all gone within four overs—Sikandar Raza then followed as the scoring rate slowed.
If Zimbabwe can win with 26 balls to spare (ie in 15.4 ov), their NRR will exceed Ireland's. Then hope Ireland lose to Netherlands! #WT20— Mohandas Menon (@mohanstatsman) March 21, 2014
An upset suddenly looked a possibility, but Chigumbura made a mockery of that with his counter-attacking innings.
He clubbed three sixes and six boundaries in his 21-ball knock, flaying the batting to all parts. With Timycen Maruma for company, the game belonged to the Zimbabweans, and attention switched to the match that will decide their fate.