The Sunday News
Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
Zimbabwe 129/2 17.1 overs (Madhevere 73*, Chakabva 24*, Frylinck 1/21, Scholtz 1/25) beat Namibia 128/8 20 overs (Loftie-Eaton 28, Erasmus 25, Raza 3/16, Chatara 3/28, Madhevere 1/8) by eight wickets
WESSLEY Madhevere was exceptional with the bat as he struck a career best unbeaten 73 runs to see Zimbabwe bounce back in style to overwhelm Namibia by eight wickets in the third Twenty20 International cricket encounter played at Queens Sports Club yesterday.
The win, achieved with 17 balls to spare saw Zimbabwe take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. It was a sweet triumph for the Chevrons after they suffered a humiliating eight wicket loss to the Eagles at the same venue last Thursday, which had left the series tied at 1-1.
Man of the Match Madhevere faced up to 61 balls, struck eight fours and one six to guide Zimbabwe to 129/2 in 17.1 overs. Namibia had been limited to 128/8 in 20 overs after they won the toss and opted to bat first. The visitors never got off the blocks after winning the toss as they lost Craig Williams, scorer of an unbeaten half century in their win on Thursday for three runs in the second over.
Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton was the top scorer for Namibia with 28, followed by skipper Gerhard Erasmus on 25. The Zimbabwean bowlers bowled brilliantly with off spinner Sikandar Raza picking up three wickets for 16 runs from four overs, pace bowler Tendai Chatara also took three wickets at the expense of 28 runs while spinner Madhevere had 1/8 in two overs.
In their run chase lost two wickets but were never at any stage at risk of losing as they cantered to an easy win.
Innocent Kaia was the first to depart for 19 runs as he tried to up the tempo only to be dismissed by Bernard Scholtz, caught by Williams. Skipper Craig Ervine only contributed six runs prior to being removed by Jan Frylinck, caught behind by Zane Green.
Madhevere and Regis Chakabva ensured that Zimbabwe suffered no further loss of wickets with an unbroken third wicket stand of 48 runs to guide the home team over the line. The two teams meet in the fourth T20I this afternoon while the fifth and final encounter is on Tuesday.
Yesterday’s match was watched by a sizeable crowd, which was improvement from the empty stands witnessed in the first two encounters with more fans expected for this afternoon’s contest. — @Mdawini_29