Scotland lose to Zimbabwe in second WT20 match

10 Mar

Zimbabwe beat Scotland by 11 runs at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium after being set 148 to win, ending the Scots chances of qualifying for the World Twenty20 Super 10s. 

Matt Machan and Mathew Cross both made their 50th appearance and were presented with their caps before the game. Zimbabwe importantly, won the toss and elected to bat on a hot day in Nagpur, the mercury touched 38 degrees. 

Zimbabwe won the toss, batted first and scored 147 for seven from their 20 overs. Sean Williams top scored with 53 from 35 balls. Mark Watt (2/21) was superb, especially as he bowled in the powerplay and at the death. 

Alasdair Evans (2-30) was excellent; his figures might have been better were it not for a dropped catch. Safyaan Sharif (2/31) also collected a brace. 

Wellington Masakadza was the chief destroyer taking 4-28, earning himself the Man-of-the-Match award. Tendai Chatara and Donald Tiripano claimed two wickets each as Scotland were all out for 136. 

Richie Berrington (36) and captain Preston Mommsen (31) gave their team a chance with a defiant 50-run sixth-wicket partnership from 40 balls. When the skipper departed Josh Davey (24) and Berrington added 29 runs from 18 balls, but it was not enough. 

Scotland had made one change to the team with all-rounder Michael Leask coming in for Calum MacLeod. 

Scotland bowled well initially and restricted the Africans to 30 for 2; their lowest ever powerplay score against an Associate nation. The bowling unit looked to have heeded the lessons from the previous game, taking pace off the ball with spin, cutters and slower balls. 

Zimbabwe struggled to increase the run-rate and the pressure told as the Scots struck twice in seven balls. First to go after a brutal collision between the openers was skipper Hamilton Masakadza, run-out by Coetzer. Evans then had Vusi Sibanda caught at deep square-leg. 

Richmond Mutumbami (19) followed when he was spectacularly caught by Leask off Watt on the long off boundary at the second attempt. Sikandar Raza was then bowled by a beautiful cross-seam delivery by Evans, which clipped his off-stump. At 67 for four after 10.3 overs, Scotland were in control. 

But Williams and Malcolm Waller consolidated as Scotland felt their fielding was below par for the standards they expect. 

Watt’s second wicket came when he and Leask combined to dismiss Waller, who miscued his shot and ending the 38-run partnership with the score 105 for five. 

Evans was unlucky not to pick-up a third when Sharif couldn’t hold on to a chance. Sharif came back strongly with the ball in the following over when he dismissed Williams. 

Elton Chigumbura’s cameo 20 propelled Zimbabwe to a decent score; he was out last ball to Sharif, caught by Mommsen. 

Scotland’s innings got off to a terrible start, losing four wickets in 19 balls, the score 21 as Masakadza and Chatara ripped through the top order. 

Both George Munsey and Machan were out after hitting a couple of boundaries. Cross whent when he edged behind either side of their dismissals. Coetzer followed, caught by an spectacular one-handed by Raza at short cover. 

The powerplay was navigated without further worry but at 28 for four, the Scots were in dire straits. Leask was stumped after a 22-run partnership with Berrington, bringing the skipper to the crease at 42 for five, still needing 106 runs to win. 

Both set about rebuilding the innings, taking singles and picking up boundaries where possible. After 13 overs, Zimbabwe were 87/4, Scotland 85/5 and back in the contest. Their pair’s fifty partnership gave provided a glimmer of hope, but with 55 still required Mommsen, trying to hit over cover was out caught. 

Sharif followed soon after as Mutumbami claimed his third stumping and Masakadza his fourth. Davey was destructive, hitting a couple of sixes. However, Berrington was caught at short third man and Davey departed with 20 still needed from seven balls. All hope departed with him as the sun set on Scotland and their campaign. 

Speaking after the defeat Mommsen praised his team for playing the attacking cricket that has come to define them in the past two-years. He did however, feel that the game was probably lost in the field as much as the during their batting powerplay and when he got out.

“That’s [our] style, in particular George Munsey. He got us away but unfortunately, looking back he will regret coming down [to Wellington Masakadza]. [They] changed the field and we had already got nine off the over and we could have settled with that. 

“At least we are trying to still be positive even with wickets down. In hindsight with wickets in hand, it could’ve been a different ending. 

“Today you could find at least 15 runs in the field [given up] and dropped catches, which is probably the difference and our start. Losing four wickets in the powerplay always makes it difficult - I think we did well to get as close as we did.”

Mommsen and Berrington’s partnership gave Scotland some hope of reaching the target and had he been in for a while longer, the outcome might have been different. 

“The pressure started shifting and you could tell,” he said.

“They made mistakes with ball and in the field but regrettably, that partnership didn’t go on another two or three overs. If it had, it could’ve been a different ending.” 

Scotland will now finish their ICC WT20 campaign against Hong Kong on Saturday.

By Kaylan Geekie 

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