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Namibia earn historic T20I series win after successfully defending 127 against Zimbabwe

Namibia Beat 127 for 8 (Williams 48, Madhevere 2-15, Jongwe 2-16) Zimbabwe 95 all out (Munyoga 28, Erasmus 2-9, Frylinck 2-25) with 32 runs

Namibia have won their first T20I series from a Full Member after beating Zimbabwe by 32 runs in the deciding game of their five-game series, which finished 2-2 going into the final.

In the final, Namibia defended 127, only the second in the series that a total that was not successfully pursued, by bowling out Zimbabwe for 95, their second lowest T20I total. In the process, Namibia has underlined how they have become Africa’s second best team after South Africa, which has automatically qualified them for the first leg of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, has not competed in a T20 World Cup since 2016 and missed the 2019 edition following the temporary suspension of their board. They will host the qualifiers for the 2022 edition in July and have staged matches against Namibia and Afghanistan to prepare. So far the signs are that they still have a lot to improve upon, especially in their percussion.

Zimbabwe had no regular captain Craig Ervine for this game and lacked his experience, especially after Wessley Madhevere, their leading batter in the series, was retired early. Madhevere was the first wicket to fall, lbw to Jan Frylinck, who bowled stand-in skipper Regis Chakabva on his next delivery. Zimbabwe was 23 for 3 and dropped to 54 for 5 when Bernard Scholtz Richmond threw Mutumbami.
Tony Munyonga, who made his comeback in this series after last played in 2019, put up some resistance with a 31-ball 28, but when David Wiese sacked him in 17th place, Zimbabwe was nearly defeated. They lost their four wickets for seven runs and were bowled out within their 20 overs. Gerhard Erasmus finished with the best return among the Namibian bowlers: 2 for nine.
It wasn’t always so grim for Zimbabwe as Namibia came back from 79 for 4 in the first 10 overs so they could score just 48 runs in the last 10. Despite a strong start, Only veteran opener Craig Williams scored over 20 as Zimbabwe’s Seamers and spinners shared wickets between them. Brad Evans took his first T20 wicket when he caught Michael van Lingen behind him before Luke Jongwe struck twice to remove Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Erasmus.

Sikandar Raza and Madhevere each took two wickets and conceded just 33 runs in their eight overs to keep Namibia quiet. In the end, Frylinck’s 15 and Ruben Trumpelmann’s 14-ball 19 at numbers 7 and 8 respectively proved the difference between the two sides and will leave Zimbabwe with several questions about their strategy and personnel ahead of the T20 World Cup Qualifiers.

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