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ICC World T20 2014: Zimbabwe pull off 5-wicket win over Netherlands in last-ball thriller

Zimbabwe captain Brendon Taylor scored 49 runs © AFP

By R Vishal

Mar 19, 2014

Zimbabwe pulled of a nerve-wracking five win over Netherlands to stay alive in the ICC World T20 2014 qualifying match in Group B at Shyllet after Vusi Sibanda smashed a six of the last ball of Ahsan Raza. Zimbabwe have now won one and lost won match in the qualifying phase in the T20 World Cup.

In a must-win tie for Zimbabwe in the T20 World Cup, after an embarrassing loss against Ireland earlier, looked determined to play sensible cricket than going gung-ho. In fact the Netherlands bowlers namely Timm Van der Gugten and Malik were tidy and disciplined and made the Zimbabwe batsmen work hard for their runs.

Netherlands struck early. After a drop catch of a sitter of opener Sikandar Raza, who was looking good. The Impressive Malik induced Raza to take take to the skies one more time but only found the safe hands of Pieter Seelaar.

The impressive Hamilton Masakadza and Taylor went about their business at a languid pace but kept ticking the scoreboard along.  Tim Cooper’s fighting knock almost bit the dust when Brendan Taylor and Masakadza smashed two huge sixes to give Zimbabwe a slight edge at that stage.

At 87 for one, it was left-arm spinner Seelan who answered the prayers of Netherlands, who at the time were looking desperate for a breakthrough. Masakadza’s wild heave missed the ball and was bowled for a well made 43 and Elton Chigumbura smashed the ball straight to the cover point fielder and was dismissed for a duck.

Zimbabwe were in a spot of bother at that stage and the required run-rate was steadily shooting up because of the aforementioned cautious start.

Just when skipper Taylor and Sean Williams looked to be in sight of the target, Taylor’s opposite number Peter Borran pulled of a spectacular one-handed catch at cover point and it was edge of the stuff . Malik’s eventful last over had lots of drama when the set Williams was run out but Vusi Sibanda kept his cool to smash a huge six off the last ball.

Earlier in the match, Tom Cooper’s fighting knock of 72 lifted Netherlands to 140 for five after being 36 for four at one stage. Tom with his brother Ben steadied the ship to lift the men in orange to a competitive score.

Brief scores:

Netherlands 140 for 5 in 20 overs (Tom Cooper 72*, Ben Cooper 20, Mudassar Bukhari 14*; Proper Utseya 2 for 24) lost to Zimbabwe 146 for 5 in 20 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 43, Brendon Taylor 49, Sean Williams 26; Pieter Seelan 2 for 9) by 5 wickets.

Man of the Match: Brendan Taylor

Full Scorecard

ICC World T20 2014 Points Table and Team Standings

ICC World T20 2014 Schedule details

(R Vishal is a journalist and an alumni of the Asian School of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

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