Zimbabwe beat Scotland to advance in World T20


Scotland are out of the T20 World Cup after a tense five-wicket defeat by Zimbabwe in Hobart.

The Scots, who beat West Indies on Monday, were effectively in a knockout situation, but only mustered 132-6 in the face of some wily Zimbabwe bowling.

Zimbabwe were 42-3 after eight overs when Sean Williams was dismissed.

But Sikandar Raza arrived to club 40 from 23 balls, adding 64 with Craig Ervine, who made 58 as victory was sealed with nine balls to spare.

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Zimbabwe make progress in a T20 World Cup for the first time. By finishing top of Group B, they advance to Group Two of the Super 12s where they will face India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa and the Netherlands.

For Scotland, the defeat means they fail to emulate their performance of a year ago, when they reached the Super 12s at the last World Cup in the United Arab Emirates.

Ireland also advance from Group B, having beaten West Indies by nine wickets earlier on Friday.

Sad end for Scotland

This is a cruel end for the Scots, who were superb in defeating West Indies and were the best side for most of the match against Ireland, only to be stunned by a late Irish fightback.

That set up this winner-takes-all match, and after winning the toss and accepting the theoretically better batting conditions, Scotland were stifled by the Zimbabwean bowling.

Though George Munsey held things together with 54, the fact he took 51 balls over his runs was symptomatic of a Scotland innings that never took off.

They failed to hit a six and managed only four fours after the second delivery of the seventh over – one of those was off a free-hit and another was leg-byes.

Zimbabwe’s new-ball pair Tendai Chatara and Richard Ngarava were excellent, while spinners Raza and Williams bowled in tandem for a tight spell.

When Scotland had an opportunity at the fall of Williams’ wicket, the electric Raza reversed the momentum with three fours and two sixes.

Flicker of old glory for Zimbabwe

Political and financial problems have left Zimbabwe a shadow of the side that regularly competed with the strongest cricketing nations during their heyday in the 1990s.

They were suspended by the International Cricket Council as recently as 2019, a ban which cost them a place at last year’s tournament.

But they have now won nine of their past 11 T20 internationals to go along with a one-day international defeat of Australia in September.

They progress with wins over Ireland and Scotland. Significantly, captain Ervine missed their defeat by West Indies and it was his calmness at the top of the order that guided the chase at Bellerive Oval.

When Ervine finally made a mistake and miscued left-arm spinner Mark Watt to mid-off, Zimbabwe only required 14 from three overs.

Milton Shumba and Ryan Burl refused to panic, Burl hitting Safyaan Sharif over mid-off for the winning boundary. (BBC Sport)

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