Sai Kishore keeps calm to nullify valiant effort from Sravana Kumar; hands Chepauk it's record third TNPL title
15 Aug 2021
It was a situation of déjà vu at the Grange Cricket Club ground in Edinburgh, Scotland as Zimbabwe went on to defend a paltry total of 136 against Scotland to win the second T20I and level the three-match series 1-1 having lost the first game in a similar fashion on Wednesday, September 15.
In the last match, Zimbabwe were cruising at 112-4 in the 17th over 30 required to win the game from 21 balls and Sean Williams and Milton Shumba batting on 28 each before something got to Williams and he played it straight to the fielder. Guess what happened in this game?
Hero from the last match for Scotland, Richie Berrington and Matthew Cross were cruising the Scottish team to a win with only 45 runs needed from 36 balls. Berrington, however, decided to launch Willaims over the cow corner, eventually getting caught at deep square leg by Wesley Madhevere, providing that little window of opportunity for the Zimbabweans to sneak and snuck they did.
Post the Berrington wicket, there was still hope as Cross developed a decent partnership with new batter Michael Leask and courtesy of that 19 run stand, Scotland needed 27 from the last three. What happens, just the way Luke Jongwe was caught in the first game at fine leg when the Chevrons needed 17 from 10 balls.
After Cross’ dismissal, everything depended on Leask and by hitting a six off Jongwe’s fifth delivery and ultimately bringing the equation down to 17 from 12 balls, he harboured confidence of some 400 odd supporters gathered at the ground. Leask was also offered a lease as he was dropped on the very first ball of the nineteenth over bowled by Richard Ngrava.
Even after the drop catch and two runs off the first ball, the men in blue could only get four runs from one of the best penultimate overs delivered at the Grange.
With 13 needed from the last over, the ball was handed to Wellington Masakadza and he delivered on the faith getting Shaffian Sharf off the very first ball and putting pressure on Leask. The 30-year-old all-rounder ran mark Watt out on the second ball to get to the crease for the last four balls. However, it was to no avail as Leask himself got out on the third ball trying to hit it out of the park and eventually holing out to Williams at long-on.
The last wicket was once again a run out on the fourth ball where numbers 10 and eleven tried to run two runs and a rocket throw from Madhevere saw the end of Alasdair Evans. Thus with four wickets and only two runs coming from the last over, Zimbabwe took the game by 10 runs.
Earlier in the day, having won the toss and decided to bat first, the men in red and gold didn’t have a great start and were reduced to 20-3 in the first three overs before skipper Craig Ervine and Willaims stitched together a 71 run stand which was broken after Ervine was removed by Leask. Shumba, the lone ranger from the last game didn’t last long in this one and Zimbabwe were 94-5 with 26 balls still to go.
Williams, who was joined by Ryan Burl on the crease, reached only his seventh fifty on T20I cricket in his 49th match as he also crossed the milestone of 1000 T20I runs and became only the second Zimbabwean after Hamilton Masakadza to score more than 1000 runs in all three formats of the game. Together with Burl, he added 42 runs for the sixth wicket to get Zimbabwe to 136 at the end of 20 overs.
With the ball, Zimbabwe had a great start once again as they reduced Scotland to 16-4 in the first four overs itself before Berrington and Cross got together.
The two teams will now meet for one last tie in the series on Sunday for the third and final T20I, which would also be played at the Grange.