Drama as Scotland and Zimbabwe finishes in a tie

Cricket Scotland Media @CricketScotland
March 12, 2018 5 days
Drama as Scotland and Zimbabwe finishes in a tie
Sharif celebrated (Credit ICC)

An extraordinary final over thriller was played out between Scotland and hosts Zimbabwe at Queens Cricket Ground on Monday to draw the Group B proceedings to a close.

Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first under sunny skies as Michael Leask replaced Ali Evans from the side that defeated Nepal.

The first over started with a bang, with fireworks from Zhuwao opened proceedings – crashing two fours and a six from it. He was to depart as Sharif got his revenge when Mark Watt took a smart catch at mid-off for 18.

Sharif soon had his second when Masakadza was given out LBW with 42 on the board.

Solomon Mire and Brendan Taylor looked to be building a big partnership, but it was halted when the former chipped a catch to Richie Berrington as Michael Leask was introduced into the attack.

Taylor reached 44 before chopping back on to his stumps off a delivery from Brad Wheal. The big wicket of Raza came soon after when he picked out Tom Sole in the deep for Leask’s second wicket shortly after the departure of Taylor.

The crowd was steadily building but Scotland kept them quiet, working away and collecting regular wickets, despite a gutsy 57 from Craig Ervine.

Sharif claimed the wickets of Williams, Chisoro and finally Blessing Muzarbanani to claim his first 5 wicket haul in One Day internationals, as Zimbabwe concluded on 210 all out in the 47th over.

However, that was only the start of the drama.

Coetzer and Cross made a decent start to the reply until Cross was caught for 13. The captain looked in fine touch and took advantage of anything loose – an imperious six flicked off his legs for a maximum was one of the shots of the match.

Tom Sole, struggling with an injury was sent in as a pinch hitter and when he was caught behind, Calum MacLeod and then the captain were all dismissed, Zimbabwe seemed well on top.

George Munsey and Richie Berrington then pulled Scotland back into it with a 76 run partnership taking Scotland to within 69 runs of victory.

Then another twist. Berrington was caught in the covers and Munsey looked to sweep as the ball popped up and was caught, the umpire raised the finger with the score now showing 148/6.

Leask entered the scene and worked the singles around well with Craig Wallace, who contributed 13 runs, before we went LBW and Sharif was caught and bowled for 1 and with the score 173/8, it looked all but over.

Another twist. Watt added 17, and along with Leask to the required total down to just 2 before Watt looked to finish it off and was caught at mid-off with the noise of the crowd now deafening.

2 to win, Wheal joined Leask for the final wicket. The first ball of the final went down the leg-side, and a wide was given.

Despair from Michael Leask as he finished unbeaten on 28.

One to win, but it was to be heartbreak for the Scots as Wheal looked to drive but only succeeded in edging behind to mean 210 plays 210 all out, and the game ended in a tie as the Zimbabwe celebrations began.

Congratulations to Safyaan Sharif who collected man of the match for his 5 wicket haul.

The Scots will now face the UAE on Thursday in the first round of Super Six fixtures and currently positioned second in the table.

There is no doubt, there will be plenty more drama to unfold.

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