AUSTRALIA: The Zimbabwe skipper won the toss and opted to bat first. However, the Zimbabwe batting order became a cropper in the face of an attacking Netherlands bowling attack, finishing at 117 all out.
Zimbabwe was off to a disastrous start. After Fred Klaassen (17/1) gave away just three runs in the opening over, Paul van Meekeren (29) castled opener Wesley Madhevere (1 off 4 balls) in the second over.
His fellow opener, Craig Ervine (3 off 12 balls), was caught by Edwards off Brandon Glover (29/2), a wicketkeeper. Regis Chakabva (5 off 16) was caught plumb in front of the stumps by Glover in his next over.
The Netherlands bowlers demolished the Zimbabwean top order, dismissing the top three within the powerplay overs while giving away just twenty runs.
Sean Williams (28 off 23 balls) and Sikandar Raza (40 off 24 balls) rebuilt the Zimbabwe innings with some aggressive batting.
Raza hit Glover for four and six off consecutive deliveries in the ninth inning. At the halfway stage, Zimbabwe was 53/3. The 48-run partnership for the fourth wicket was broken by Paul van Meekeren.
Sean Williams top-edged a pull shot, and the resulting catch was made by Max O’Dowd at deep midwicket. Sikandar Raza, however, was unfazed and smashed Logan van Beek (17/2) for a six over a deep backward square leg.
The new man in, Milton Shumba (2 off 3), pushed awkwardly at a van Beek delivery, and the ball popped up in the air after hitting the face of the bat before Myburgh completed an easy catch.
Raza took on Glover in the fourteenth over, hitting the pacer for a six and a four as 14 runs came off it. His whirlwind knock came to an end in the fifteenth over, caught by Fred Klaassen off the bowling of Bas de Leede (14/2).
Paul van Meekeren ended his bowling spell with the wicket of Ryan Burl (2 off 7 balls), who inside-edged the ball onto his stumps. In the very next over, Bas de Leede ended Luke Jongwe’s (6 off 8 balls) stay at the crease. His attempted pull-shot sent the ball up in the air before Logan van Beek took an easy catch at deep mid-wicket.
Richard Ngarava (9 off 7 balls) was caught by Myburgh off Fred Klaassen, whom he had hit for six, three deliveries earlier. Blessing Muzarabani (1 off 4 balls) was the last Zimbabwean wicket to fall, and the inning folded up at 117 all out with four deliveries left from their quota of twenty overs.
Netherland’s openers Max O’Dowd (52 off 47 balls) and Stephan Myburgh (8 off 7 balls) gave their team a decent start. The hard-hitting duo put together 17 runs for the first wicket before Myburgh sliced a Blessing Muzarabani (23/2) delivery straight to Ryan Burl.
The new man in, Tom Cooper, hit Muzarabani for a four and a six, taking ten runs in the sixth over as the Netherlands reached 35/1 at the end of the powerplay.
Max O’Dowd and Tom Cooper (32 off 29 balls) scored runs at a steady rate, hitting boundaries at regular intervals. The partnership between the two put the Netherlands in charge of the chase.
The duo scored fourteen runs in the tenth over, taking the Netherlands to 67/1. Tendai Chatara (22/0) bowled his heart out but was unlucky to get any wickets.
Tom Cooper’s knock finally came to an end in the thirteenth over. He pulled a short delivery from Luke Jongwe, but Madhevere at deep midwicket took a tumbling catch and hurt his left ankle in the process.
The new man in, Colin Ackermann (1 off 5 balls), lasted five deliveries before becoming Richard Ngarava’s (18/2) first wicket, caught by Jongwe at mid-off.
Max O’Dowd soon brought up his fifty in the fifteenth over by Jongwe. Jongwe bowled erratically as he leaked seventeen runs from the over, including a no-ball that went over O’Dowd’s head. He was cleaned up by Muzarabani in the next over.
Max O’Dowd hit a short and wide delivery from the pitcher, but Milton Shumba at the deepest point timed his jump to perfection to end his inning.
Richard Ngarava had Scott Edwards (5 off 6 balls) caught by Chakabva in the seventeenth over, but it was a case of too little, too late. Bas de Leede ( 12 off 12 balls) hit a boundary to finish off the match.
The Zimbabwean bowlers dragged the match deep into the eighteenth over but didn’t have enough runs to defend
Max O’Dowd was awarded the Player of the Match for his match-winning knock of 52 off 47 deliveries, which consisted of eight deliveries and a six.