Zimbabwe have hit back from defeat in the first T20I, forcing their series against Scotland into a decider with a 10-run win over the hosts in the second match at the Grange.
Setting the hosts 137 for victory, Zimbabwe held firm in the final moments, collecting four wickets in the final over, thanks to a clinical fielding and bowling display.
Winning the toss and electing to bat, the visitors were off to a sluggish start losing three early wickets inside as many overs.
Innocent Kaia (7) fell to Ali Evans, edging behind to Matty Cross, with partner Regis Chakabva following soon after, falling to the left-arm orthodox of Mark Watt. Problems were compounded for Zimbabwe after Wesley Madhevere was run out by Kyle Coetzer without facing a ball.
Craig Ervine was joined by Sean Williams, and the pair succeeded in a much-needed rebuild, putting on 71 runs from 70 balls.
Scotland eventually broke the partnership by Michael Leask, who claimed Ervine in a regathering 30 (36).
Williams continued the fightback, going on to register his sixth T20I half-century, finishing with 60* off 52 balls in challenging circumstances. Ryan Burl’s 13* helped Zimbabwe to 136/5.
Scotland’s response was hampered early, losing two wickets at the hands of Richard Ngarava in the second over of the Powerplay, claiming captain Coetzer and Oli Hairs, also registering a maiden.
George Munsey fell to Tendai Chatara’s short ball trap, pulling straight to Innocent Kaia at deep square-leg, while Calum Macleod fell for a duck, thanks to a stunning one-hand catch from Burl as Scotland found themselves at 16/4.
Similarly to Ervine and Williams, Scotland’s Richie Berrington and Matthew Cross put on a 75-run stand for the fifth wicket in just 60 balls, with a mix of power an touch bringing the required run rate down to under eight.
Though just as Scotland looked to have moved into a series-winning position, Zimbabwe broke the partnership when Berrington failed to clear Madhevere at long-on. Luke Jongwe struck to remove Cross, with Scotland still requiring 27 off 18 balls.
Leask led the late charge, moving to 24 from 19 balls, bringing the Scots to within 13 runs of victory.
Needing the baker’s dozen to claim the series with four wickets to play with, Scotland were thwarted by a Zimbabwe fielding unit cool under pressure. Wellington Masakadza was tasked with the job to restrict the hosts, who lost all four wickets off the first four balls (including two run outs) to fall ten runs short.
You’re reading Emerging Cricket — brought to you by a passionate group of volunteers with a vision for cricket to be a truly global sport, and a mission to inspire passion to grow the game.
Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, please subscribe for regular updates, and follow EC on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube.
Don’t know where to start? Check out our features list, country profiles, and subscribe to our podcast.
Support us from US$2 a month — and get exclusive benefits, by becoming an EC Patron.