Zimbabwe's captain Brendan Taylor bats during the second of the three ODI cricket series matches between Zimbabwe and Bangladesh on May 5, 2013 at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo © AFP
Zimbabwe’s captain Brendan Taylor scored a fluent half-century © AFP (File photo)

 

By Devarchit Varma

 

Mar 17, 2014

 

Brendan Taylor scored a fluent half-century to help Zimbabwe set a 164-run target against Ireland in the qualifier match of the Group B in the ICC T20 World Cup 2014 at Sylhet on Monday.

 

After being asked to bat first, Zimbabwe scored 163 for five in their allotted 20 overs. Taylor impressed with a fine knock of 59 off 46 balls, that included two sixes and four boundaries.

 

Zimbabwe lost an early wicket in form of Sikandar Raza, who was caught by Max Sorensen off Alex Cusack in the second over of the match. Raza faded away after hitting two consecutive boundaries earlier in the over.

 

Raza’s dismissal brought Brendan Taylor at the crease, and he along with Hamilton Masakadza took Zimbabwe ahead. The two batsmen added 42 runs for the second wicket, not only reviving their innings but also setting up a good platform for the other batsmen. The partnership was crucial from Zimbabwe’s point of view as the 42 runs came off only 4.3 overs.

 

Masakadza showed aggressive intent early on as after Raza’s dismissal, he hit two consecutive fours off Sorensen to help his side gain some momentum. The right handed Zimbabwe batsman had a special liking for Alex Cusack, as in the sixth over of the match he plundered two boundaries and Taylor joined in the party with a six. After six overs, Zimbabwe were 56 for one.

 

However, Masakadza’s stay at the crease was cut short by Andy McBrine in the seventh over, when he got the Zimbabwe opener caught by William Porterfield for 21.

 

Sean Williams found momentum early on as he slogged McBrine for a six off a slog–sweep and hit a boundary off the same bowler in his next over. But McBrine had the last laugh as some sharp work behind the wickets by Gary Wilson saw Williams walking back after scoring 16.

 

On the other hand, Taylor continued his charge from the other end. He scored against the Ireland bowlers with ease and in the 16th over of the innings he completed his half-century. His innings came to an end when Taylor was caught by Ed Joyce off Dockrell in the next over of the match. Dockrell had earlier dealt a big blow to Zimbabwe when he had dismissed the explosive Vusi Sibanda for only 16.

 

Towards the end, a quickfire 13-ball 22 not out from Elton Chigumbura helped Zimbabwe go past the 150-run mark.

 

For Ireland, Dockrell was the most successful bowler with two wickets for 18 runs off his four overs. McBrine too was impressive with two wickets for 26 runs off his four overs.

 

Brief scores:

 

Zimbabwe 163 for 5 in 20 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 21, Brendan Taylor 59, Elton Chigumbura 22*;  George Dockrell 2 for 18, Andy McBrine 2 for 26) vs Ireland. 

 

Full Scorecard

 

ICC World T20 2014 schedule: Match time table with venue details

 

ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

 

(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)