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Chevrons down but not out

by Staff reporter
03 Jul 2023 at 07:11hrs | Views
Zimbabwe cricket fans suffered a heartbreak after the national cricket team, the Chevrons, stumbled in their quest to qualify for the World Cup with a defeat to Sri Lanka at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday.

However, it's not over yet as there is a still one more berth they can claim with a win over Scotland at the same venue tomorrow.

Hordes of fans had crammed the arena hoping to see their team romping to victory and qualifying for the India finals this year, but left dejected after the Sri Lankan bowlers ripped through the Zimbabwe batting line-up to skittle them for just 165 runs in 32.2 overs.

They then cantered home in 33.1 overs with Pathum Nissanka on 101 not out while Kusal Mendis scored an unbeaten 25 runs from 42 deliveries.

The Asian side took the first ticket to the finals and will now wait to discover their opponents in the Sunday final for this tournament as well as who they tag along with to the global showcase.

Sri Lanka maintained their perfect record and now have eight points, while Zimbabwe have six with Scotland on four, two more than Netherlands.

Scotland can get to eight points if they win their match against Zimbabwe and Netherlands while the Dutch can only get to six.

Victory for Zimbabwe tomorrow will put contention to rest as they will join Sri Lanka but a defeat for the hosts gives the initiative to Scotland.

Sri Lanka have the best bowling attack in this tournament and yesterday they made light work of the Chevrons' batting department which had been flourishing prior.

The tournament's highest run scorer Sean Williams scored 56 runs from 57 balls but this time he couldn't carry the team alone as he became one of Maheesh Theekshana's four victims after he castled the left hander.

Theeshkana also bowled Ryan Burl for 16, trapped Luke Jongwe for 10 before he uprooted Blessing Muzarabani without scoring to wrap up the innings.

The platform was laid by Dilshan Madushanka who did the damage in his five over bowling spell where he sliced through Zimbabwe's top order removing Joylord Gumbie, who failed to get off the mark, Craig Ervine (14) and Wessley Madhevere with one run.

Zimbabwe's best partnership was the 68 run collaboration between Sikandar Raza, who scored 31 runs and Williams and once it was broken, hopes of getting to at least 200 diminished.

And once Williams followed Raza back to the hut, Zimbabwe's chances of putting up a formidable total also extinguished.

Zimbabwe captain Ervine admitted that the first three wickets undermined their chances in this game and they never recovered from the early blows.

"Those first three wickets put us on the back foot. I think that the partnership between Raza and Williams got us slowly back into the game, and then he (Theekshana) came on, unfortunately, we couldn't recover from that collapse in the middle order. Look, I don't think we need to prepare any differently from what we have been doing in this tournament (against Scotland). We have been playing some very good cricket. Sri Lanka were much better than us today," Ervine said.

Man of the match Theekshana was happy that the plans that they had in place worked well for them.

"We had made good plans. I just bowled wicket to wicket. Because we lost Lahiru, I knew I had to bowl in the power play. Madushanka got us three wickets and Sean was batting brilliantly but when I came on, I didn't allow them to settle down. I was able to execute my plans. Actually, this win boosts our confidence, we knew how good we are and our plan was to win all games," he said.

It was a tough day for the fans, who were in top form once again, and were forced to carry on singing and dancing well after the match had ended.

Source - newsday