Zimbabwe 148 for 9 (Raza 65, Madhevere 25, Little 2-17, Younger 2-20) beat Eire 147 for 8 (Balbirnie 32, Delany 26*, Raza 3-28, Ngarava 2-23) by 1 wicket
Good catches, dramatic shifts in momentum and a fortunate inside edge – Zimbabwe’s last-ball win towards Eire had all of it in a recreation that had you on the sting of the seat for the previous few overs.
Raza picked up three wickets to limit Eire to 147 earlier than navigating the chase with a composed 42-ball 65 with wickets falling on the different finish and a few heated exchanges from Eire fielders. He himself fell within the nineteenth over – because of a diving catch from Paul Stirling at cowl – with Zimbabwe needing 11 off 9 and all of the established batters again within the dugout.
The equation went all the way down to 9 off the ultimate over, and when Ngarava and Gwandu managed solely three runs off the primary three balls, Eire appeared to have edged forward. However Ngarava discovered a boundary with a leg-side swipe to make it two wanted off two.
Sounds easy? Effectively, not easy sufficient.
Raza steers the chase
Eire dominated the powerplay with each bat and ball, however Raza was key in bringing Zimbabwe again within the recreation in each innings.
Defending 147, Eire began tightly with the ball and Tadiwanashe Marumani was out early, chipping Barry McCarthy to mid-on. Josh Little then had Sean Williams chopping on in subsequent over to place Zimbabwe additional below the pump.
Raza helped inject some momentum into Zimbabwe’s innings with back-to-back boundaries to finish the powerplay. When spin got here on, Wessly Madhevere reverse-swept George Dockrell for 4 however was out after one ball, exposing his stumps and lacking his scoop.
However Craig Younger threw a spanner within the works with two wickets in two overs. He bounced Burl out, with the batter top-edging a pull shot for Tucker to seize. Younger struck once more when debutant Brian Bennett ended up hitting aerially in the direction of mid-off and Harry Tector accomplished a surprising take operating to his left and leaping to pluck the ball out one-handed.
Raza seized management again, attending to his twelfth T20I fifty earlier than stepping it up. After top-edging Adair for 4, he hit a six over effective leg off McCarthy to start out off a productive seventeenth over. Clive Madande pulled McCarthy for a six and 4 to make it a 20-run over to place convey the asking fee all the way down to run-a-ball.
At that time, Zimbabwe seemed set to see Eire off with out a lot bother, however Little castled Madande earlier than Adair dismissed Luke Jongwe and Raza in a superb penultimate over.
Balbirnie will get Eire off to a flyer
Andy Balbirnie bought Eire off to a rollicking begin, hitting Ngarava for 3 fours – together with two beautiful cowl drives – within the first over.
He then took Muzarabani on, slapping him over level for a 4 and a six. Stirling then welcomed Gwandu to worldwide cricket by hitting him for 3 back-to-back fours as Eire raced to 38 for no loss in three overs.
Muzarabani then slowed Eire’s innings down with some off-pace deliveries. Ngarava reaped the good thing about the strain created by the quiet over as he returned to lure Stirling in entrance with a low full toss.
Spin squeeze from Raza and co.
Raza introduced himself on instantly after the powerplay and made on the spot impression by knocking Balbirnie over with a ball that spun in to beat his sweep shot and take his leg stump.
Eire struggled to maintain the tempo up towards spin as Williams bought within the act. He beat the batters with two beauties in his first over – the tenth of the innings – and bought within the wickets column in his subsequent as he had Tucker caught at backward level. Raza then picked up his second wicket of the evening by bowling Curtis Campher.
Solely 53 runs got here off the eight consecutive overs of spin after the powerplay, and the strain advised as Muzarabani castled Dockrell with a intelligent offcutter to go away Eire on 108 for five with 5 overs to go.
Raza had his third when he trapped Tector in entrance with a sidearm supply that pitched on leg stump, and sliding down, earlier than straightening to pin him on the entrance pad. Adair was the subsequent to go, making an attempt to go for a giant shot downtown off Ngarava solely to pick long-on.
Muzarabani’s slower variations introduced him one other wicket off the subsequent over with McCarthy providing a easy catch to level. Delany helped Eire go previous 140 with a 20-run final-over, which noticed him hit two sixes down the bottom – together with one which hit the roof.
Abhimanyu Bose is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo