World T20 2014: Taylor-Made Innings Powers Zimbabwe in Last-Ball Victory over Netherlands
By Shruthi SU | March 20, 2014 1:46 AM EST
It was fifteen runs to win with twelve balls to go, and Zimbabwean skipper Brendon Taylor had only begun to unleash his guns, standing comfortably on 49 runs. But a moment later, Netherlands captain Peter Borren jumped in the air and held on to a blinder of a catch; Timm van der Gugten had picked up the wicket of Taylor (49, 39b, 2x4, 1x6). That moment could have changed the course of the innings but Zimbabwe hung on and finished with a win by 5 wickets, in what was a last-ball thriller.
The wristy Sean Williams (26, 19b, 2x4, 0x6) was at the other end, determined to score the remaining runs for Zimbabwe when Taylor left the crease but got mixed up in a run out when his team was on 140 for five, in need of just one run to win from one ball. 'No problem', said Vusi Sibanda as he hit a mighty six on the last ball to take his team to 146 for five - a relieving victory indeed. Though for a while there in Sylhet, the match had left the neutral fans hoping for a Super Over.
Having won the toss, Netherlands had 'attacking cricket' in mind right from the word go and decided to bat. This was a must win for Zimbabwe, if they were to stand a chance to qualify for the Super 10.
Prosper Utseya (2 wkts, 24 runs) began the proceedings for Zimbabwe and was among the wickets right from the second ball, picking up Stephen Myburgh. The Dutch were on the back foot, losing four wickets in five overs. The team was in serious trouble at 35 for 4 when the Cooper brothers - Tom and Ben - were in the middle. Ben (20, 24b, 1x4) batted with relaxed arms while Tom, the elder brother, took responsibility and did most of the hitting. They shared a 52-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Tom, the man-of-the-match from the previous outing, put up a brilliant show with the bat, scoring nine boundaries and one six, to get to his unbeaten score of 72 in 58 balls with an attractive strike rate of over 124. Tom also dominated with his stroke play in the sixth wicket partnership of 53 runs with Mudassar Bukhari (14, 16b) taking his team to a defendable total of 140.
But Hamilton Masakadza (43, 45b, 3x4, 1x6) and man-of-the-match Taylor proved too determined to put up a second-wicket stand of 62 that eventually helped Zimbabwe win the match. After the last ball thriller in their last game against Ireland ended in disappointment, today's result was a joyous one for Zimbabwe .
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