Zimbabwe fail to qualify to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024

Zimbabwe have failed to make it to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 but they will probably find solace in the manner in which they dispatched Kenya in their final match at the Africa qualifier tournament in Windhoek on Thursday. Dazzling fifties from Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams paved the way for an overwhelming 110-run victory for Zimbabwe at the United Cricket Ground in the Namibia capital.

Zimbabwe were put into bat and they opened their innings again with Raza and Tadiwanashe Marumani. Raza again dominated the scoring and the strike, as the pair raced to 88 in their partnership before, in the 10th over, Marumani was caught for 27 off 22 balls. In the next four overs, Raza and Williams hammered 42 runs before Raza was caught on the midwicket boundary, having made his 82 off 48 balls with no fewer than eight sixes and only one four.

Innocent Kaia did his part briefly, facing only eight balls before being stumped, but scoring 18 runs off them. Williams, who hit even more fiercely than Raza, was next to go at 191 for four in the 18th over – he too holed out at deep midwicket, having scored 60 off only 26 balls, with five sixes and four fours. The momentum was maintained as off the last 15 deliveries Luke Jongwe (15 not out) and Ryan Burl (9 not out) scored 26 runs, taking the score past 200 to an excellent final aggregate of 217 for four wickets. This beat their own tournament record, the highest made by any team, of 215 for four against Rwanda. Shem Ngoche was the most successful bowler with two wickets for 30 runs in three overs.

When Kenya batted, Richard Ngarava struck with his second ball, trapping the experienced Collins Obuya lbw without a run on the board. In his next over, he removed the aggressive Sukhdeep Singh for 15 off 13 balls, as he popped a simple chance to midwicket; 17 for two. Kenya were now able to save face with a 50-run partnership, as the opener Pushkar Sharma and the wicket-keeper Irfan Karim batted through to the 12th over before Sharma was stumped by Clive Madande off Raza for 21. Sachin Bhudia made 13, and was the first of three wickets to fall in eight balls to Raza and Burl, making the score 91 for six in the 17th over. Karim stayed unbeaten to the end, with an honourable 35 off 34 balls, the final Kenya total being 107 for eight wickets.

There were two wickets each for Ngarava, Raza, Burl and Williams, the last-named bowling only one over for one run. It was a magnificent victory for Zimbabwe over one of the stronger sides at this seven-team tournament, but was tempered by the news that, as expected, Uganda had beaten Rwanda and so claimed the remaining place beside Namibia at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 to be hosted by the West Indies and the United States of America.

Source: Zimcricket

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