The Chevrons produced another heart-in-mouth display as they salvaged a draw with Scotland right at the end in their ICC World Cup Qualifier match played on Monday in Bulawayo.
By Carlo Chikomba
With both sides having advanced into the Super Sixes of the tournament, the match was effectively a dead rubber but the Chevrons were still hoping to maintain their hundred percent record on home turf.
However, the hosts didn’t get off to the best of starts as they lost openers Cephas Zhuwawo and Hamilton Masakadza with just 42 runs on the scoreboard.
Solomon Mire and Brendan Taylor set out to give the hosts some form of stability before the former departed for 35 off the bowling of Leask. Taylor (44) would then follow afterwards and from then on the hosts started losing wickets periodically.
Craig Ervine was the pick of the batsmen as his spirited 57 runs kept the scoreboard somewhat ticking as wickets kept tumbling around him. After Ervine was dismissed, the Chevrons resistance soon came to an end as they well all-out for 210 with Raza (1), Williams (7) and Cremer (8) all flattering to deceive.
In response, Scotland were put to the sword early, with the Chevrons bowling attack of Tendai Chisoro, Sean Williams and Graeme Cremer reducing the visitors to 69/4.
But the pairing of Richie Berington (47) and George Munsey (29) was resolute as they put up a stubborn fifth wicket partnership of 76 runs. Cremer then dismantled the pairing as he claimed the scalp of both batsmen to keep the Chevrons in the game.
As the game wore on, Scotland kept losing wickets on regular intervals but they pushed on, taking the match to a nerve-wrecking final over. The visitors needed 2 runs from the remaining six balls with no wickets remaining but Tendai Chisoro, having bowled a wide delivery to reduce that to a single run, held his nerve to dismiss the final man Bradley Weal as Scotland were all-out for an identical 210 runs.
The Chevrons who qualify in their group along with Scotland and Afghanistan will now face the West Indies, Ireland and the United Arab Emirates in the Super Sixes with the top seeded two teams from that fixture gaining passage to the 2019 Cricket World Cup.