World T20: Sibanda powers Zimbabwe to opening win

Hong Kong had their moments in the game but failed to capitalise


Afp March 08, 2016
Vusi Sibanda acknowledges the crowd after scoring a half-century during the opening match of World T20 against Hong Kong in Nagpur, on March 8, 2016. PHOTO: AFP

NAGPUR: Opener Vusi Sibanda struck a fluent half-century to help Zimbabwe defeat a scandal-hit Hong Kong by 14 runs in the opening group encounter of the World T20 in Nagpur on Tuesday.

Stung by a corruption charge prior to the start of the sixth edition of the tournament, Hong Kong had their moments in the game but failed to capitalise.

Electing to field, Hong Kong's bowlers made early inroads but Sibanda held the fort at one end with a 46-ball 59 to guide his side to a defendable 158-8.

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Sibanda's 61-run fifth wicket partnership with Malcolm Waller and a late blitz by Elton Chigumbura, who scored an unbeaten 30 off just 13 balls, ensured the total remained beyond the grasp of Hong Kong who in turn could only manage 144-6 in their 20 overs.

The Tanwir Afzal-led side lost a couple of early wickets, but opener Jamie Atkinson put up some fight with a gutsy 53 off 44 balls, including four boundaries and two sixes.

A late flourish by Afzal (31 not out off 17 balls) gave the team some hope but the ever-increasing run-rate proved too much for a side participating in just its second World T20.

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Hong Kong's preparations were badly hit by the suspension of all-rounder Irfan Ahmed in January as part of an ongoing corruption investigation and the opening day loss has only added salt to their wounds.

Among the positives that Hong Kong could gather from the outing was their near-perfect fielding that resulted in three run-outs and yielded some good catches in the Zimbabwe innings.

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The top sides from Group A and B will move in to the Super 10 stage involving the eight established teams of world cricket.

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