• Home
  • Cricket News
  • Zimbabwe Pull A Rabbit Out Of Their Hat As Ngarava Defends Six In Last Over To Beat Ireland

Zimbabwe pull a rabbit out of their hat as Ngarava defends six in last over to beat Ireland

Zimbabwe defended their second-lowest T20I total ever as they stopped Ireland from chasing down 117, and won the match by mere 3 runs at Castle Avenue, Clontarf. Before this game, they had defended 11o against West Indies in 2010. They are now leading the five-match series 1-0. 

The bowlers, especially Richard Ngarava who bowled a magical 20th over, giving away only two runs when six were required for a win and five for a tie, turned out to be their real hero. He not only conceded just two runs but also kept the dangerman, Simi Singh, off the strike. Simi Singh, before that over, had hit 26 off just 18 balls. 

In the last over, Singh could only hit two of the four deliveries that he faced, including a single off the last ball when at least four was required to tie the game.

The end might not have been ideal for Ireland, but the start to chase was surely one. With Paul Stirling and Kevin O’Brien getting in the groove, it seemed like an easy chase for the Irish as they raced away to 27 without a loss. However, once Stirling was removed by Jongwe, things started to change as soon skipper Andrew Balbirnie was removed as well. 

Getting into a rhythm, the Zimbabwean spinners began exploiting the huge size of the ground with their flight and getting the Irish players caught in the deep as pressure was mounting. Within the space of 44 balls and 44 runs, the Men in Green lost six key wickets and the Chevrons were all over them. Wellington Masakadza and Ryan Burl took five of those six wickets. 

It then took a brilliant inning from Simi Singh to get the team back in the mix and almost set them as favourites to win at the end of the 18th over with only 12 runs required from the last two. However, first Luke Jongwe and then Ngrava made sure that the firm favourites were shocked, Jonge gave only six runs in the 19th over to keep Zimbabwe in the game and then Ngarava took them home. 

Earlier in the morning, after losing the toss and being invited to bat first, Zimbabwe, who were playing without their superstars such as Sean Williams, Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza managed to get to 117 courtesy of Regis Chakabva’s 47 and Masakadza’s unbeaten 19 0ff 15 balls. 

Discover more
Top Stories

Today is the last hurdle: St. Lucia Kings skipper du Plessis recovers from concussion to lead them

Faf du Plessis, who has been out of cricket for the past three months after being concussed during the Pakistan Super League in June this year, feels that he is now standing on the last girdle before making a comeback when he leads st. Lucia Kings against Jamaica Tallawahs in their first game of the Caribbean Premier League at Warner Park on August 27. “Today is the last hurdle when [I am] just making sure I pass the full practice at full intensity. And if I do that, then I'll be ready to play,” du Plessis was quoted as saying to ESPNCricinfo. Talking about missing crucial three months including The Hundred, the former South Africa skipper said, "I went over for the first match [in the Hundred] to try and play, but I still suffered quite severe concussion symptoms quite badly and especially with the batting it got worse," he said. "It's been three or four weeks since then [during] which I have worked hard in trying to get back to normal with a good rehab programme, and specialists in England helped me with,” added the 37-year-old. Saying that it has been tough three months away from cricket, the player who has applied his trade all across the world in the shorter format feels that there is a lot of cricket to come this year and he wants to remain fit for it all. "I didn't expect it to take this long and I also didn't expect it to be quite as severe. But I feel like I am at the end of it, which really is pleasing for me. There's a lot of cricket this year that I still need to play," he said. “For winning the match, du Plessis said that he would rely on the brains of coach Andy Flower and icon mentor Daren Sammy. "On the field, I would rely a lot on the other players to help me. Daren Sammy is one of those guys, he is a very experienced leader within the side so we will tap into his plan a lot,” he said. “Andy has worked with the side as well, so we'll tap into his brain a lot. And then on the field, you rely on your experience as a captain to make those instinctive, gut decisions that you would need to make when you know it is so hard in the middle,” added du Plessis who would be looking to make an impact this time around having previously played for St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots previously in the CPL.


Sean Williams blames coach Lalchand Rajput for creating mistrust in Zimbabwe camp

Zimbabwe Test captain Sean Williams dropped a bomb just ahead of the start of their limited-overs tour against Ireland as he blamed coach Lalchand Rajput for creating mistrust in the Zimbabwean camp, threatening to quit international cricket and warning about the future of the upcoming stars of Chevrons’ cricket. "I can't see a way forward under coach [Lalchand] Rajput. The environment he has created in the team is bad,” the Test skipper was quoted as saying by Sportskeeda. “There is too much talking and backbiting which creates mistrust,” he added. Saying that while he can afford to quit international cricket and walk away and play club cricket elsewhere, Williams was worried about the young Zimabawe cricketers suffering because of the toxic environment. "I am in a position now where I can go. I am not scared and I will not back down from anyone. My major concern is the future of the rest of the players. If they (Zimbabwe Cricket) don't do something now, guys like Wesley [Madhevere] may go too, and that guy is a national treasure," Williams said. It could maybe be an outcome of the rift only between Williams and other senior players and the coach that Zimbabwe in their first match of the five-match T20I series against Ireland decided to bench star players like Williams himself, Sikandar Raza and Brendan Taylor. Willaims was called in the limited-overs squad of the team after missing the entire home series against Bangladesh. The 34-year-old has so far played 136 ODIs, 46 T20Is and 14 Tests for the team from Southern Africa and seems to still have at least 3-4 years of good cricket left in him.


I owe a lot to my family and coaches: Paul Stirling on reaching 300 matches milestone for Ireland

Paul Stirling, the pocket-sized dynamite of a batsman has become the third Ireland player to complete three will play his 300 games for Ireland when he started in the playing xi against Zimbabwe in the first of the five T20Is to be played between the two sides. “It’s been a long journey since debuting in 2008 and if you had asked me back then I never thought I would have had the privilege of playing this many games,” Stirling said in an interview to Belfast Telegraph. It must be noted that this is not his 300th international game, but overall 300 matches while representing Ireland and it includes First-Class matches during the Inter-Continental Cup era and List A matches before Ireland got the full-time ODI status. “I owe a lot to my family and coaches for the time and dedication they have put in throughout my career to date,” added Stirling, who was also the show-stealer in The Hundred Final, bagging the Man of the Match award in the Final against Birmingham phoenix. It was a season that saw his side Southern Brave’s dramatic turnaround after the first two losses to reach the Eliminator and then the Final and win it. Andrew Balbirnie, the captain of Ireland was also excited about the development. “I think he’s really happy with getting that exposure that he absolutely deserves. I’m a big believer that he should be playing in every domestic competition around the world because he’s that good,” he said in another interview. As far as international matches are concerned 31-year-old Stirling lies just behind veteran Kevin O’ Brien in matches played for Ireland. While O’Brien has played 255 games, Stirling with this game in Clontarf will be playing his 216th game for Ireland. Since making his debut in 2008, Stirling has so far represented the Men in Green in 131 ODIs, 82 T20Is and three Tests.