About the Match
Zimbabwe went a step closer to making it to the main tournament of the World T20 as they defeated Hong Kong in their opening qualifying match by 14 runs; they will now take on Scotland in the 5th match of the qualifiers at Nagpur on 10th March. Scotland on the other hand suffered defeated against Afghanistan in their opening match by a similar margin of 14 runs and will need to win this upcoming contest to keep their hopes alive. It will be interesting to see which team can perform under pressure and emerge victorious on Thursday.
The bowlers put up a dismal performance against Afghanistan and gave away too may easy runs; although Evans, Davey and Watt took a wicket each to cause some upsets, they couldn’t restrict the opponents from settling down in comfortable partnerships and keeping the scoreboard ticking. With a target of 171 runs facing them, the batsmen started well as Munsey and Coetzer put up an 84-run opening stand but the loss of quick wickets in the middle slowed down their chase; Machan and Mommsen tried to revive the innings but in the end fell short by 14 runs.
Sharif and Evans put up economical spells but they will have to combine well to execute the strategy to perfection on the field; Berrington, Machan and Davey must bring in better discipline in their bowling and try to outwit the opponents with their skills. The batting line-up looks good as openers Munsey and Coetzer scored 40+ runs each in the last match; Calum MacLeod got run-out and was unable to impress with the bat but he can bounce back here.
The middle-order batsmen must keep their nerves together during a chase and if batting first, Scotland must come out all guns blazing in order to post big totals that will give their bowlers enough to fight for. Overall, they have good talent but must be positive minded in this kind of arena to take on the stronger teams.
Sibanda scored his first T20 fifty to build the foundation for the team in the match against Hong Kong; with contributions from Masakadza, Waller and Chigumbura, Zimbabwe put up a target of 159 for the opponents, which was defended successfully by the bowlers. Chatara and Tripano used their pace to take 2 wickets each while Masakadza and Sikandar Raza took one scalp each to stifle the opposition and win the match by 14 runs.
The victory would surely have boosted the morale of the team but they should be cautious against Scotland, who have a good variety of bowlers; batsmen like Mutumbami, Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams need to support the team in the middle-order and if they can combine their strengths well, this team can surely be a tough nut to crack by the Scottish.
Zimbabwe has done well in the opening match but they must take it one game at a time and strategize well against Scotland to keep the upper hand.
Both teams have the experience and talent to perform well on Thursday but we feel that Zimbabwe with an all-round effort from batsmen and bowlers will continue with their winning momentum