Edinburgh, Sep 17 (IANS) Zimbabwe caused two run-outs and took two wickets in the final over as they defended 13 runs to beat hosts Scotland by 10 runs in the second T20I to level the series 1-1 on Friday.
Chasing the target of 137, Scotland needed 13 runs off the last over with four wickets in hand. Wellington Masakadza was tasked with the job to restrict the hosts. Scotland buckled under the pressure and lost all four wickets off the first four balls, two of which were run-outs, as they were bundled out for 126.
Electing to bat, Zimbabwe got off to a poor start as they lost three early wickets for 20 runs in the third over. Innocent Kaia (7) was the first to walk back with an edge carrying into the gloves of the keeper, Matthew Cross, off Alasdair Evans’ bowling. His partner Regis Chakabva followed him in the next over for 8.
A late call between Craig Ervine and Wesley Madhevere led to the fall of the third wicket. Madhevere was the one to be run out by Kyle Coetzer who went without facing a ball. Ervine was joined by Sean Williams in the middle. The two initiated the much-needed rebuilding process and added 71 runs in 70 balls for the fourth-wicket partnership.
The breakthrough was provided by off-spinner Michael Leask who snared the wicket of Ervine for a steady 30 off 36 balls while Williams continued to resist. Williams went on to smash his sixth T20I half-century.
William’s unbeaten 60* off 52 balls in challenging circumstances and Ryan Burls’ 13* carried Zimbabwe to a first-innings total of 136/5.
Zimbabwe needed early wickets if they were to stop Scotland from getting to the target and their bowlers did just that in the Powerplay. Richard Ngarava bowled a double-wicket maiden in the second over of the innings, scalping Kyle Coetzer and Ollie Hairs off consecutive balls.
George Munsey fell to Tendai Chatara’s short ball trap, pulling the ball straight to Innocent Kaia at deep square-leg. Calum Macleod walked back to the pavilion without troubling the scorers, courtesy of a stunning one-handed catch from Ryan Burl as Scotland found themselves at 16/4.
Richie Berrington and Matthew Cross strung together a 75-run stand for the fifth wicket in just 60 balls to bail Scotland out of trouble. Mixing caution with aggression, the two batters brought the required run rate down to under 8 runs per over.
Zimbabwe broke the partnership at a crucial juncture in the game when Berrington failed to clear the fielder at long-on. Three overs later, Luke Jongwe struck to remove the other set batsman, Cross, when Scotland needed 27 off 18 balls. And then it all came down to the last over when Scotland committed hara-kiri.