New Zealand became only the 3rd team to win a T20 International chasing 200+, and in the process dashed Zimbabwe's chances of salvaging a consolation win from their disastrous Kiwi tour. Batting first, Zimbabwe has reached an impressive 200/2, with Brendan Taylor (75* off 43 balls) and Hamilton Masakadza (62 off 42) both claiming fifties - by far the most impressive batting performance of the tour, and a score that in most T20 matches would have been enough to secure victory. But New Zealand have been dominant all tour, and weren't about to lie down - especially when they'd already proven in the preceding matches that they had the mark of the Zimbabwean bowlers.
To their credit, they kept the Kiwi run rate to around the required rate for the full innings, and took their chances when they came - a remarkable direct-hit throw from the boundary saw Keegan Meth claim James Franklin's scalp by runout after he'd top-scored for NZ with 60 (from 37 balls); Elton Chigumbura struck on his first ball to remove Nicol while also taking the scalp of former Zimbabwean Colin de Grandhomme (who also found himself on the receiving end of some "comments" from a chatty Ray Price; and Kyle Jarvis took 2 wicketes in 2 balls in the penultimate over to put some late pressure on the home side. But Taylor's tactic of changing bowlers almost ever over never seemed to gain much in the way of results - and handing the ball to Shingi Masakadza in the final over with NZ requiring 14 to win when Shingi had only bowled 1 other over in the match (which went for 16) seemed risky. Sure enough, two fours and a six later the match was over, and Zimbabwe were left to rue how close it had been. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 200/2 (20 overs; Taylor 75*, Hira 1/31), New Zealand 202/5 (19.4 overs; Franklin 60, Chigumbura 2/23). New Zealand win by 5 wickets.
Zimbabwe are still without a win on this tour, and still facing an inquiry into their performances when they get back home, but the first T20 international against New Zealand finally saw some fight - at least from Hamilton Masakadza (53 from 36 balls) and Elton Chigumbura (48 from 24 balls), who helped see their side to a halfway-respectable 159/8 from their 20 overs. It wasn't enough, unfortunately, as the usual bowling woes that this series has seen allowed New Zealand to chase the target with time to spare - with Guptill (91* off 54 balls) carrying his bat for the innings, no Zimbabwean bowler went for less that 8.5/over, and Jarvis - the only wicket-taker - went for over 10/over. Hardly impressive, but credit for there finally being some promising signs. Full scorecard below the cut.
Zimbabwe 159/8 (20 overs; H Masakadza 53, Bates 3/31), New Zealand 160/3 (16.5 overs; Guptill 91*, Jarvis 2/32. New Zealand win by 7 wickets.
Kenya rounded off their tour of Zimbabwe with their largest loss yet, as Tuskers warmed up for the forthcoming Stanbic T20 in the best possible way. Kenya managed just 117 from their 20 overs, with Aga's 53 being the only innings of note in a disappointing knock; Keegan Meth took two wickets in the first over, finishing on 2/27 from his 4 overs, while Glenn Querl again showed his talent, taking 3/13 from 3 overs bowled. Tuskers reached the required target with few problems, with 20 balls still remaining when they crossed the line. Openers Horton (43) and Smith (42) led the way, and while there was a small flurry of wickets towards the end of the innings, it wasn't enough to stop them. Full scorecard below the cut.
Kenya 117/6 (20 overs; Aga 53*, Querl 3/13), Tuskers 121/3 (16.4 overs; Horton 43, Patel 2/19). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 7 wickets.
Another day, another loss for Kenya, this time in the first of two T20s they're scheduled to play against Midwest Rhinos. Kenya, batting first, posted 114 before being bowled out, with only Obuya (44) and Odhiambo (24) making much of an impression; Graeme Cremer marked his return to fitness with 2/17; but once again it was Gary Ballance who starred for Rhinos, scoring 43 off 41 balls - ably assisted by Malcolm Waller, with 33 off 25 - as Rhinos raced to the target with over 3 overs to spare. Full scorecard below the cut.
Kenya 114 (18.5 overs; Obuya 44, Muzhange 3/15), Rhinos 115/5 (16.3 overs; Ballance 43, Otieno 3/20). Midwest Rhinos win by 5 wickets.
This was the last match of the Harare leg of the Kenyan tour, and Mountaineers saw them off to Kwekwe with a fairly straghtforward 14-run win. Kevin Kasuza, who's been perhaps the Mountaineers' most impressive performer this season, once again made an impression with the bat, amassing 45 from 40 balls and, along with Harris (22) and Maruma (25) doing most of the work. Kenya in reply couldn't keep up with the require run-rate, and ended on 112/8. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 126/6 (20 overs; Kasuza 45, Varaiya 3/24), Kenya 112/8 (20 overs; Aga 37, Chatara 3/18). Mountaineers win by 14 runs.
Kenya made it two wins in one day, as they made light work of Zimbabwe U19 in their afternoon match at Zimbabwe Cricket Academy. Kenya were bowled out for 113 in their innings, with the final wicket falling on the last ball of their knock, but Zim U19 mustered little in the way of fight themselves, with only one player passing 20 as they finished on 102/8, giving Kenya an 11-run win. Full scorecard below the cut.
Kenya 113 (20 overs; Allen 24, Heggins 3/11), Zimbabwe U19 102/8 (20 overs; Zimwa 34, Oluoch 3/18). Kenya win by 11 runs.
Cephas Zhuwao's 59 for Eagles wasn't enough to prevent Kenya from claiming their first win of their Zimbabwean tour, as their lower-order pairing of Patel and Odhiambo did most of the work in seeing them home after Eagles were bowled out for 150. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 150 (19.1 overs; Zhuwao 58, Obuya 2/9), Kenya 151/7 (19.1 overs; Patel 42*, Mbofana 2/12). Kenya win by 3 wickets.
The Kenyan national team continued to be highly competitive but not enough to convert their efforts to a victory as they slumped to a two wicket defeat against the Mashonaland Eagles at Harare Sports Club on Thursday. Mash Eagles lead 2-0 in their three match preparation series prior to their campaign to defend their Stanbic Bank 20 series title.
Kenya batted first and set 122 runs for the loss of seven wickets after winning the toss. Morris Ouma (15) looked confident in the initial stages of his innings before Ray Price had him bowled. Dominic Wesongo was the top run scorer, lower in the order for the Kenyans with an unbeaten 27 runs from 26 balls. The home sides spin pair of Raymond Price and young Tinotenda Mutombodzi continued to torment the visitors, Price once again being the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for 26 in four overs.
Former English county players Peter Trego (22) and Rory Hamilton-Brown (28) were the top scorers for the Eagles set the pace and kept the Eagles well above the run rate for the better half of their innings. Young Nathan Waller had a brisk sensational 16 from nine balls which featured two massive sixes to guide the Eagles to a much easier victory in 18.1 overs. Nehemiah Odhiambo and his captain Collins Obuya took two wickets apiece. Full scorecard below the cut.
Kenya 122/7 (20 overs; Wesongs 27*, Price 2/26), Eagles 126/8 (18.1 overs; Hamilton-Brown 28, Obuya 2/9). Mashonaland Eagles win by 2 wickets.
[Match report via ZC]
Mashonaland Eagles handed the Kenya national team a three-wicket defeat in the first Twenty20 match of their tour of Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first setting a target of 124 runs for the loss of six wickets but the home team chased down the target with two balls remaining.
Zimbabwe Cricket domestic franchises MidWest Rhinos and the Mashonaland Eagles are hosting the Kenyan national team as part of their preparations for the Stanbic Bank 20 series starting on the 24th of November.
The visitors team captain Collins Obuya top scored in the match with an inspiring 44 from 32 balls and Duncan Allad who opened the batting chipped in with a handy 15 runs.
Although the Mash Eagles used seven bowlers and each almost got a wicket, veteran left-arm spinner Ray Price played a big role to stop massive run scoring with an attacking economic bowling.
Price finished without a wicket but only conceded 18 from his allotted four overs. Nehemiah Odhiambo finished off the innings with a quick cameo of 30 from 38 balls.
Mash Eagles were convinced that the total was low enough to take on the Kenyans without too much diligence. They lost early wickets with the captain Stuart Matsikenyeri among the low scorers, caught for just five runs.
Elton Chigumbura (24) played his natural game and upped the run rate with his partner Foster Mutizwa (34), a partnership which drove the Eagles a step closer to the target, though not within safety.
The Eagles needed 10 runs from the last over and they capitalised on some sloppy Kenyan fielding and managed to push through a victory with two balls to spare. Full scorecard below the cut.
Kenya 124/6 (20 overs; Obuya 44, Zhuwao 1/2), Eagles 126/7 (19.3 overs; Mutizwa 34*, Varaiya 2/22). Mashonaland Eagles win by 3 wickets.
[Match report via ZC]
It was a batsman's day at Harare Sports Club for the second and final Twenty20 match and, when Zimbabwe looked likely to suffer another heavy defeat, Chamu Chibhabha led a thrilling assault on the bowling so that the home side could at least go down with all guns blazing and lose with honour. Chibhabha's 65 off 39 balls was, in its way, the best innings of the day, as it was made off better bowling than the New Zealand batsmen had to face, and under more pressure, well as Brendon McCullum and Martin Guptill batted for their fifties. It was a pity this fine match - 15 sixes were hit, some truly massive - was played before a comparatively small crowd, due to its being played on a weekday and suffering from unreliable weather.
Zimbabwe played Chris Mpofu instead of Regis Chakabva, while Forster Mutizwa kept wicket. They won the toss and put New Zealand in to bat, understandably after the disappointment on Saturday. Unfortunately this did not help them as the knocks given to the bowling this time was, if anything, more intense this time.
It was the first of many sixes in the New Zealand innings, reduced to 18 overs due to a rain shower. McCullum and Guptill found the gaps, picked up balls off a good length for six, and left the Zimbabwe bowlers quite helpless even to contain them. McCullum took 31 balls for his fifty and Guptill 37. Zimbabwe finally got a wicket when McCullum was bowled attempting a scoop off Jarvis; his 64 came off only 37 balls and he hit two fours and six sixes. The opening pair had put on 120 in 11 overs.
So well did the innings continue that New Zealand must have entertained hopes of reaching 200, but the bowlers did manage to pull it back a little at the end. Guptill made 67 and Jesse Ryder 30 not out, the final total being 187 for three off the 18 overs. Jarvis took both wickets to fall to the bowlers for 36, but no bowler went for less than eight and a half an over. Utseya got the most blows from McCullum that his three overs went for 45 and he completely lost his pitch. At the fielding was fairly good, with no catches dropped. Zimbabwe needed to score at more than ten runs an over to win.
Zimbabwe's batsmen, however, had learned something since Saturday's game. They lost their two best batsmen, Hamilton Masakadza (9) and Brendan Taylor (1), early on, but then Chibhabha and Elton Chigumbura launched a thrilling assault on the bowling, mainly by powerful driving. For a while it was the New Zealand bowlers who felt the cosh, as the pair added 57 in six overs. Chigumbura led the way with 39 off 22 balls, a better rate of scoring than any of the New Zealanders had managed, before falling to a fine return catch by Nathan McCullum. Zimbabwe were then 84 for three in the tenth over. Amid the assault the New Zealand bowlers and fielders kept their heads and eventually broke through.
Charles Coventry fell to a soft dismissal, but Mutizwa proved a good partner for Chibhabha, who ran to his fifty off 34 balls. He then launched into the bowling of Nathan McCullum, hitting him for two big sixes, but the bowler responded well, having him stumped by his brother in the same over for 65, with four fours and five sixes. The required rate was now over 15, but Mutizwa continued the fight until a hesitation over a third run led to his dismissal for 22. Utseya, having a bad match, was involved in two run-outs in successive balls, following which the last two batsmen, hitting out, both went first ball to Doug Bracewell. The last four wickets thus fell remarkably in four balls with the total remaining on 154, but at least some of Zimbabwe's top batsmen had done their team proud on this occasion. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand 187/3 (18/18 overs; Guptill 67, Jarvis 2/36), Zimbabwe 154 (16.5/18 overs; Chibhabha 65, N McCullum 3/23). New Zealand win by 34 runs (D/L method).
[Match report via ZC]