Zimbabwe qualify for ICC T20 World Cup: Key stats
Zimbabwe beat Papua New Guinea by 27 runs in the first semi-final of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier B on Friday. Wesley Madhevere (42) and Blessing Muzarabani (2/24) punched the best figures. The Craig Ervine-captained side has now sealed a spot for the 2022 T20 World cup. Zimbabwe will now face the Netherlands in the Qualifier B finale on Sunday. Here's more.
- The eight participating sides in tournaments Qualifier A and B have advanced from their Regional Finals.
- They were either ousted in the first round of the 2021 T20 World Cup or were the highest-ranked sides not already qualified for this stage.
- The finalists of the Qualifiers will participate in the First Round involving 9-12th ranked teams from the 2021 edition of the tournament.
The Global Qualifier A was held in Oman earlier this year. Group A constituted Ireland, UAE, Bahrain, and Germany. Meanwhile, Group B comprised Nepal, Oman, Canada, and the Philippines. UAE were crowned the winner in the Global Qualifier A. They beat Ireland by seven wickets in the 160-run chase. Finalists UAE and Ireland have received a ticket for the 2022 T20 World Cup.
The Netherlands outclassed their Group B rival Papua New Guinea by 52 runs. It was followed by a seven-wicket over Hong Kong that involved a 117-run chase. The Dutch then outfoxed Uganda by 97 runs. Tom Cooper (81*) and Max O'Dowd (73) were the top run-getters. In the semis, Netherlands bested the United States by seven wickets to grab a final berth.
Seated in Group A, Zimbabwe beat Singapore by 111 runs. Sikandar Raza (87) and Sean Williams (53) were the top performers. Zimbabwe then bested Jersey by 23 runs. It was followed by a 46-run win over the United States, courtesy of a clinical 82* from Raza. Lately, Zimbabwe overpowered Papua New Guinea to advance to the final.
Batting first, Zimbabwe bulldozed their way to 199/5. It was an all-out attack from the hosts, with each batter striking in excess of 120. A hostile 49-run stand between Sean Williams and Milton Shumba got them close to 200. Sese Bau and Charles Amini grabbed two wickets each for PNG. Tony Ura (66) kept PNG in the hunt but it wasn't enough (172/8).
Muzarabani trumped the PNG's middle-order batters to conclude with figures of 2/24. The right-arm pacer has steered to 30 T20I scalps at 26.36. He now has the joint sixth-most wickets for Zimbabwe in T20Is alongside Wellington Masakadza. Richard Ngarava was quite economical with his exploits (1/22). The left-armer now has 19 wickets at an economy of 7.99.
Ervine's sublime 38 put the hosts in the driver's seat versus PNG. The opening batter belted four fours and a six. He now has 964 T20I runs at 23.51. Notably, he has surpassed Brendan Taylor (934) to become the third-highest run-getter for Zimbabwe in the format. Raza's 14-ball 22 has powered him to 894 runs. He has steered clear of Elton Chigumbura's tally (893).
Madhevere played a commanding role in Zimbabwe's hostile-looking show in Harare. He hit five fours in his 29-ball 42. He has raced past 700 runs (710) at 23.66. Meanwhile, Sean Williams' 11-ball 22 saw him breach the 1,200-run mark (1,203). He is only the second batter from Zimbabwe besides Masakadza (1,662) to attain the feat.