Netherlands and Zimbabwe booked their places in the ICC T20 World Cup after seeing off USA and Papua & New Guinea respectively in semifinals of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier B. Netherlands saw off a spirited effort from USA to seal a seven-wicket victory in their semifinal after restricting USA to 138 in 19.4 overs even as Zimbabwe held of a valiant PNG by 27 runs. Tournament hosts Zimbabwe’s decision to bat first turned out to be a fruitful one. The experienced duo of Regis Chakabva and skipper Craig Ervine provided a good start, with the former adopting an aggressive approach.
Chakabva struck the first boundary of the match in the very first over, and followed that up with a flurry of fours — three back-to-back off Sema Kamea. An over later, he smacked a six, looking even more dangerous.
However, his blazing innings was ended by Sese Bau, who had him trapped in front for a 19-ball 30. The wicket did not put brakes on Zimbabwe’s flow of runs though as both Ervine and Wesley Madhevere struck regular boundaries. At the end of the 10th over, Zimbabwe looked strong on 90 for 1.
However, inside the next five overs, the hosts lost Ervine on 38, while Madhevere fell after top-scoring with a 29-ball 42. The middle-order contributed with valuable runs, helping their side post a strong 199 for 5 from the allotted 20 overs.
Everything was going Zimbabwe’s way as they picked up a wicket on the very first ball of PNG’s innings with opener Lega Siaka’s dismissal. They lost two more wickets in quick succession as they were reduced to 45 for 3 in the Powerplay.
With the asking rate going up, Tony Ura started attacking with the bat, smashing two sixes in a row in Sikandar Raza‘s over.
When Ura fell, PNG were 139 for 5. They ended on 172 for 8 after 20 overs, falling short by 27 runs. The home crowd went wild as Zimbabwe sealed their place in the marquee event in Australia.
Teams for World T20: Australia (defending champions) Top 11 teams from the 2021 ICC Men’s T20WC Afghanistan, Bangladesh, England, India, Namibia, New Zealand, Pakistan, Scotland, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies Top two teams from Global Qualifier A: Ireland and United Arab Emirates Top two teams from Global Qualifier B: Netherlands and Zimbabwe.
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