Zimbabwe Women off to winning start in T20I quadrangular series
USA Women – 111 all out in 19.3 overs (Snigdha Paul 26, Sindhu Sriharsha 21, Isani Vaghela 14; Nomvelo Sibanda 3/20, Kelis Ndlovu 1/13)
Zimbabwe Women – 112-5 in 15.2 overs (Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 37, Josephine Nkomo 26*, Kelis Ndlovu 17; Isani Vaghela 2/9, Taranum Chopra 2/17, Snigdha Paul 1/20)
Zimbabwe Women won by five wickets
Zimbabwe Women defeated the United States of America (USA) Women by five wickets in their first match of the Women’s T20I Quadrangular Series played at the ICC Academy in Dubai on Saturday.
After being put in to bat first, the USA Women made 111 in 19.3 overs.
Brilliant work in the field by Zimbabwe Women saw them execute a massive six run-outs in the innings, with the first coming in the fifth over when Audrey Mazvishaya sent Ritu Singh packing for three to make the score 16 for one.
A big partnership seemed to be developing as Snigdha Paul and Sindhu Sriharsha put on 29 runs for the second wicket before the former was run out for 26, scored off 40 balls with two fours, with Mazvishaya again involved in the dismissal – 46 for two after 10.1 overs.
Off the final delivery of the next over, with 14 added to the total, Srihasha was bowled out by Kelis Ndlovu for a run-a-ball 21 that included three fours.
Isan Vaghela and Anika Kolan then mustered a 25-run stand in the next 3.2 overs before Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano struck with another run-out, Kolan returning to the pavilion for 10 scored off 12 balls with a single four.
In the next over, two wickets fell off consecutive deliveries: first, Geetika Kodali was run out for one by Modester Mupachikwa, followed out by Vaghela who was bowled by Nomvelo Sibanda having scored 14 off 21 balls – 98 for six in exactly 17 overs.
Sibanda was involved in another dismissal in the following over, the fifth run-out, and in the 19th over, which she delivered herself, she bowled Disha Dhingra (8) and next ball trapped Suhani Thadani lbw.
Another run-out, three balls into the 20th over, brought the USA Women innings to an end at 111.
The chase suffered an early blow as, after just five balls, Modester Mupachikwa was trapped lbw without scoring, Zimbabwe Women slumping to seven for one.
Ndlovu hit two fours on her way to 17 off 17 balls before she was caught by Singh off the bowling of Vaghela – 44 for two in 5.3 overs.
In the same over, with five runs added to the total, Zimbabwe Women lost the key wicket of captain Mary-Anne Musonda for four, a boundary, as she became Vaghela’s second scalp.
The experienced duo of Mugeri-Tiripano and Josephine Nkomo then took it upon themselves to rebuild the innings, rotating the strike well and capitalising on bad balls and misfields.
They seemed set to take Zimbabwe Women across the line until Mugeri-Tiripano was caught by Vaghela off the bowling of Taranum Chopra, bringing to an end their 54-run partnership.
She had scored 37 runs, including five fours, off 37 balls and when she departed at 103 for four in the 15th over, nine more runs were needed for victory.
Pellagia Mujaji came in hoping to finish off the game but perished to the first ball she faced in the very same over, caught at the wicket.
However, there was to be no further damage as Nkomo, with 26 not out, and Christabel Chatonzwa, seven not out, took Zimbabwe Women home with 28 balls to spare.
Sibanda, with three wickets for 20 runs off her four overs, was adjudged the player of the match.
The other two sides in the quadrangular series are Thailand Women and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Women, with the four teams using the tournament as part of their final preparations for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2022 scheduled for 18-25 September in the UAE.