By Kevin Mapasure
Visiting Namibia hit back at their hosts Zimbabwe to square the five match T-20 cricket series following a six-wicket in at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday.
It was quite some nerve wrecking and equally exciting finish to the match where Namibia went into the final two overs requiring 19 runs to win, chasing a target of 159 from 20 overs.
The tourists had Gerhard Erasmus and Zane Green in the middle and for Zimbabwe all hope was vested in Luke Jongwe and then Tendai Chatara with the ball.
Jongwe shipped 13 runs in his over and that left Namibia needing six runs from the last six.
It was a dramatic one. The first was a dot ball, raising hopes of the expectant crowd, leaving Namibia needing six from five. The next four balls went for singles, and the match came down to the last ball.
Zane Green coolly and cruelly clobbered the final delivery over a drawn in Sikandar Raza to the boundary to trigger jubilation among the visitors and howls of sadness among the home suppoters.
In the end there might have been debate on whether it was the Jongwe over that proved costly, or the Chatara final ball, but in truth it should never have gone as far as it did.
Zimbabwe really should have put up a bigger total on the board having gone from 82 for 1 in the 10th over to struggling to 158 for 8 after 20 overs.
The hosts were coasting along very well until a flurry of wickets, some of the damage self-inflicted, saw Namibia apply the brakes.
Wessley Madhevere scored a 32 ball 50 before he was run out after the opener had lost partners Innocent Kaia (7) and Craig Ervine (22).
His departure proved costly for Zimbabwe who struggled to string meaningful partnerships from then on before Richmond Mutumbami scored a quick 27 off 21 balls while Jongwe contributed 19.
Namibia got off to a good start in their run chase and the game was seemingly slipping out of Zimbabwe’s grasp until a chance presented itself at the death.
Michael van Lingen and Erasmus both scored half centuries for Namibia while Jongwe helped himself to two wickets for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe: Wessley Madhevere, Innocent Kaia, Craig Ervine, Regis Chakabva, Sikandar Raza, Tony Munyonga, Rimond Mutumbami, Luke Jongwe, Brad Evans, Victor Nyauchi, Tendai Chatara
Namibia: Craig Williams, Michael van Lingen, Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton, Gerhard Erasmus (c), David Wiese, Zane Green, Ruben Trumpelmann, Jan Frylinck, Bernard Scholtz, Pikky Ya France, Ben Shikongo
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