Craig Irvine and Sikandar Raza once again starred with the bat and helped Zimbabwe claim an emphatic five wicket victory over Scotland in the last match of round one of the T20 World Cup 2022 here at Bellerive Oval, Hobart on Friday (Ocotber 21).

With this win, Zimbabwe qualified for the Super 12 stage and topped their group as well. They will now face India, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh, and the Netherlands in the next round of the tournament.

Chasing a below-par target of 133 in the stipulated 20 overs, Zimbabwe overhauled the target in 18.3 overs courtesy of a captain’s knock from their skipper Ervine. Ervine scored 58 off 54 balls and smashed six boundaries in his stay into the middle. His team lost Regis Chakabva (4) and Wesley Madhvere (0) early in the powerplay but the seasoned campaigner kept his team in the hunt with his stay in the middle.

The right-handed batter – who opened innings for Zimbabwe – revived his team by sharing crucial partnerships with Sean Williams and Raza. With Williams, he shared a partnership of 35 runs. In his union of 64 runs with Raza, Ervine, however, got some relief as the team’s star all-rounder played a quickfire knock of 40 off 23 balls.

Raza and Ervine departed in quick succession in an effort to finish the game quickly and get the crucial net run rate in their favour. Zimbabwe were nicely poised in the run chase by then and Milton Shumba (11*) and Ryan Burl (9*) comfortably completed the formality of taking their team home.

Image Courtesy: ICC

For Scotland, Josh Davey (2/16) was the pick of the bowlers but he alone couldn’t pose much of a challenge to the opposition batters. In fact, there weren’t enough runs on the board for the bowlers to defend as Zimbabwe bowlers put up a disciplined effort to prevent Scotland from posting a big total.

Captain Richie Berrington’s decision to bat first after winning the toss didn’t turn out well for Scotland as they lost the wickets of Michael Jones and Matthew Cross quite early in the innings.

The likes of George Munsey, Berrington and Calum MacLeod tried their best to resurrect the innings but they never got the momentum and acceleration they required. Munsey and Berrington put on a 40-run stand between themselves followed by a 34-run stand between MacLeod and Munsey.

But the partnerships didn’t come at a swift scoring rate. Munsey, who scored 54, also consumed 51 deliveries without providing any useful impetus to the innings. In the end, Scotland could only muster 132 for the loss of six wickets.