Zimbabwe beat Hong Kong by 14 runs in WT20 qualifying opener

Nagpur, March 8 (IANS) Zimbabwe got the better of Hong Kong by 14 runs to begin their World Twenty20 qualifying campaign on a positive note at the Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium here on Tuesday.

Put in to bat by Hong Kong in the Group A match, Zimbabwe rode on opening batsman Vusi Sibanda’s 46-ball 59 to score 158 for eight in 20 overs. The 32-year-old right-hander hit two sixes and five fours during his second T20I fifty.

He shared a 61-run stand for the fifth wicket with Malcolm Waller (26) to drive the African outfit to a respective total. After their dismissals, Elton Chigumbura made a quickfire 30 from just 13 deliveries to make it a competitive total.

For Hong Kong, pacer Tanwir Afzal (2/19) and medium pacer Aizaz Khan (2/33) were the best bowlers.

In reply to Zimbabwe’s 158/8, Hong Kong made 144/6, falling short by 14 runs. Opener Jamie Atkinson made 51 in 44 balls to lay solid charge for Hong Kong. But rest of the batsmen failed to rise to the challenge. Afzal did give them a lift with the bat too, makiing a 17-ball 31 not out but failed see his side home.

For Zimbabwe, Donald Tiripano (2/27) and Tendai Chatara (2/28) bowled well at the death overs, while Sikander Raza and Wellington Masakadza picked a wicket apiece.

Zimbabwe face Scotland, while Hong Kong take on Afghanistan on Thursday.

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