Zimbabwe take last-ball WT20 thriller

Spirited Netherlands go down in World Twenty20 qualifier while Ireland eye progress with a D/L win against the UAE.

    Vusi Sibanda (R) hit a six off the last ball to seal the much-needed win [AFP]
    Vusi Sibanda (R) hit a six off the last ball to seal the much-needed win [AFP]

    Zimbabwe notched a thrilling last-ball victory against a spirited Netherlands in a World Twenty20 qualifier to stay in contention for the main round.

    Needing one run off the last ball, Vusi Sibanda lofted fast bowler Ahsan Malik over long on for a six to get his team over the line at 146-5.

    Tom Cooper's brilliant unbeaten 72 off 58 balls lifted the Netherlands to 140-5 after Zimbabwe had them at 35-4 within the first five overs. Offspinner Prosper Utseya (2-24) claimed two wickets.

    Zimbabwe's run chase was smooth as opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza and captain Brendan Taylor put on 62 runs for the second wicket, until medium pacer Pieter Sellar removed Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura within three deliveries.

    Taylor scored 49 off 39 balls before he fell in the 19th over with Zimbabwe still needing 15 runs. It was then left to Sibanda to seal the win in an eventful final over.

    Ireland win again

    Ireland beat the United Arab Emirates by 21 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis Method in the later game that was cut short by rain after being twice interrupted by power failures.

    Ireland was cruising at 103-3 in the 15th over of the Group B qualifier when the floodlights went out for a second time in 13 minutes followed by the rain.

    No further play was possible. Ed Joyce made 43 while captain William Porterfield was unbeaten on 33.

    UAE was earlier restricted to 123-6 with Paul Stirling claiming 2-12 and Kevin O'Brien dismissing top scorer Shaiman Anwar (30) and Amjad Javed (19).

    Ireland defeated Zimbabwe in its opening match and is now the favourite to advance after its last qualifier against the Netherlands.

    SOURCE: AP


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