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Zimbabwe secures spot in T20 final dozen

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Zimbabwe has sealed a place among the remaining 12 Twenty20 World Cup teams after holding its nerve to topple Scotland in a low-scoring encounter.

The two countries were vying for the last spot in the Super 12 on Friday night in Hobart after Ireland eliminated West Indies earlier in the day to secure its passage.

Zimbabwe chased down Scotland’s 6-132 with nine balls to spare and five wickets in hand, despite losing two scalps inside the first two overs.

It is the first time the African nation has made it past the initial group stage of a T20 World Cup in six attempts.

Veteran skipper Craig Ervine played the anchor role with 58 from 54 deliveries, while allrounder Sikandar Raza produced another eye-catching display with 40 from 23.

Raza top-scored with 82 in Zimbabwe’s opening win over Ireland and has picked up five wickets across three games.

Ervine departed in the 17th over with his side still needing 14 runs but Milton Shumba and Ryan Burl got them across the line.

“Once we bowled well, I felt we’d get the job done. Craig played really well. It’s quite satisfying, quite humbling (to win),” Raza told broadcasters.

“I said to Craig, your job is to bat through. Just give me eight-to-ten balls and I’ll try to get it as quickly as possible.

“Some of the risks I took came off. We ended up having a pretty good partnership.”

Earlier, Zimbabwe’s bowlers made it tough going for Scotland, which went 64 balls without scoring a boundary through the middle overs.

Quick Tendai Chatara was the pick of the Zimbabwe bowlers with 2-14 from four overs including a maiden.

Opener George Munsey top scored for Scotland with 54, his second half century this week, but only three of his teammates joined him in double figures.

Scotland’s tournament finished with back-to-back losses after opening its campaign with an upset victory over two-time champions West Indies.

“It’s hugely disappointing not to get over the line. I think we were 25-30 runs short with the bat,” Scotland captain Richie Berrington said.

“We’ve played a lot of good cricket this tournament. It was disappointing we didn’t manage to … execute with the bat.”

Zimbabwe has been placed in Group 2 for the Super 12 stage alongside Bangladesh, India, the Netherlands, Pakistan and South Africa.

-AAP



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