Zimbabwe batsmen fall like nine pins

Express May 05, 2010

KARACHI: New Zealand were declared worthy winners through the Duckworth Lewis (D/L) method after they bowled out Zimbabwe for a paltry 84 before being 36 for one in the ninth over in the 2010 ICC World Twenty20. Rain interrupted play in the Kiwis’ innings while they were seven runs ahead on the D/L method that required them to make nine more runs to complete the win when play resumed. But with the outfield still wet, New Zealand were handed the win with openers Brendon McCullum (22) and Martin Guptill not out at the end.

Zimbabwe’s start

When Prosper Utseya’s team was put into bat, he mentioned 150 as a good score and Zimbabwe went about in achieving that in the first few overs, before a bizarre collapse halted their charge. Tatenda Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza put on 36 for the first wicket in less than five overs before Tim Southee had Taibu caught in the deep. Zimbabwe, unscathed, went on as Masakadza found the boundaries at will, adding 22 for the second wicket with Andy Blignaut. At 58 in the seventh over and looking good, Masakadza fell short of his ground and was run-out — his wicket being the tipping point that sparked the collapse. Two runs later, captain Daniel Vettori bowled Blignaut as Zimbabwe were reduced to 60 for three.

Turning point

Enter Nathan McCullum. In one over, Zimbabwe lost three wickets as Elton Chigumbura, Charles Coventry and Craig Ervine made their way back to the pavilion. McCullum finished with three wickets for 16 runs as Zimbabwe were now reeling at 62 for six; the prospect of even a 100 runs looking bleak.

Styris follows suit

At this point, Zimbabwe were searching for a face-saving total. Enter Scot Styris. He cleaned up the tail, claiming three wickets in his over as Zimbabwe were left wondering what went wrong. Styris had the first one caught by Martin Guptill, the second one bowled and the last trapped lbw to finish with three wickets for five runs. Vettori grabbed the last wicket as Zimbabwe were bundled out for 84 – their lowest ever in Twenty20 internationals and the 12th overall.