Zimbabwe sent a statement to all the teams set to compete at the upcoming World T20 by winning the qualifier tournament quite clinically. The African nation defeated the Netherlands in what was essentially a battle for bragging rights after both sides had already qualified for the marquee event.
Zimbabwe continues to make headlines in the world of cricket by racking up one win after another, trying to make a name for themselves amidst all the titans of the game. Having defeated Papua New Guinea in the semi-finals to book their place in the ICC World T20 to be held in Australia starting October, the fledgling squad went a step forward to win the qualifiers title.
Their victory over the Netherlands will see them compete in Pool B alongside the West Indies, Ireland and Scotland, of which only two teams will proceed to the Super 12 stage. The Dutch, on the other hand, will have to battle it out against Sri Lanka, Namibia and the United Arab Emirates in order to proceed past the group stage.
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first in the final, but failed to make a dent against a fired-up bowling attack. Sean Williams’ 28 off 25 deliveries and Regis Chakabva’s quickfire 27 were the only rays of hope for the African side, as they were bundled out for 132. Logan van Beek topped the bowling charts with sensational figures of 3/18 from his four overs.
However, the tables soon turned on the Netherlands, as they came under heavy fire from Zimbabwe’s bowling unit. They had lost their first five wickets for 56 runs already, courtesy of a world-class spell from Sikandar Raza. The spinner gave away just 8 runs in his four overs, registering a maiden and scalping four outstanding wickets. The Durch never really recovered from their middle-order collapse, folding for a paltry 95 and handing ZImbabwe an emphatic 37-run win.
They will next be in action in a three-match T20I series versus Bangladesh starting July 30.