Jurriene Diergaardt's fifty trumps Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano's knock as Namibia secure win

Rupesh Kumar
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Jurriene Diergaardt's fifty trumps Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano's knock as Namibia secure win

Jurriene Diergaardt

Zimbabwe won the toss and their skipper Mary-Anne Musonda had no hesitation in batting first. The right and left-hand combination of Sharne Mayers and Chipo Mugeri Tiripano opened the proceedings for Zimbabwe. The duo got their side to a sedate start and didn't have other options either as the opening bowlers for Namibia in Victoria Hamunyela and Wilka Mwatile didn't give any freebies upfront. Both openers didn't take many risks in the powerplay and put up only 28 runs.

The hosts got their first breakthrough in the form of Mayers in the seventh over as pacer Suné Wittmann got rid of the right-handed batter. Mugeri-Tiripano decided to break the shackles after losing her opening partner and struck a few boundaries to get Zimbabwe's run rate up.

Mugeri-Tiripano brought up her half-century in the 12th over. She rode her luck too as she under-edged some of her shots which missed her stumps by a whisker. Skipper Musonda, who came to bat at number three, was struggling to get the big shots going and hence decided to keep giving the strike to Mugeri-Tiripano so that she could continue to accelerate.

Musonda's struggle with the bat came to an end in the 16th over as she failed to clear the long-off fielder in an attempt to hit a maximum. Tiripano's vigil came to an end in uncanny fashion as she was run out by Wittmann on a free-hit in the 18th over. She scored a magnificent 80-run knock off just 59 balls.

Zimbabwe failed to hit any boundaries after Mugeri-Tiripano's dismissal but they rotated the strike well to score 20 off the last three overs without taking any undue risks as Namibia's bowlers also lost their discipline and bowled a few extras.

Capricorn Eagles got off to a rapid start as Sune Wittmann scored nine off the first three balls against the experienced Loryn Phiri, who went on to concede 11 in the opening over. The other opener Diergaardt, also was swiftly out of the blocks with a six, followed by a four off Nomvelo Sibanda, as Namibia scored 21 off the first two overs.

Zimbabwe fought back though as Wittmann was bowled for ten by Michelle Mavunga with a perfect yorker in the third over. Zimbabwe pulled things back over the next few overs as Mavunga and Precious Marange proved particularly hard to get away.

Marange managed to cramp the batters for any room and two of her first three overs were maidens, and she also had Diergaardt's catch dropped off her bowling. She eventually conceded just 13 runs off her four overs as the asking rate continued to climb.

Diergaardt struggled to rotate the strike even as Yasmeen Khan was fluent from the outset of her innings. It was Phiri's reintroduction that saw Namibia increase their run rate again as she continued to struggle with her control.

Mavunga dismissed Yasmeen to break the partnership that was flourishing between her and Diergaardt. Wilka Mwatile, who came in after the dismissal, struck Phiri for a few boundaries in the 16th over but fell to Anesu Mushangwe in the next over.

Needing ten to win from the last over, Capricorn Eagles required Diergaardt to deliver and she won the game for the hosts with two balls to spare after hitting a six and taking twos either side of the six.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe 130 for 3 in 20 overs (Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 80; Sune Wittmann 1/19) lost to Namibia 131/3 in 19.4 overs (Jurriene Diergaardt 62*, Yasmeen Khan 36; Michelle Mavunga 2/10) POTM: Jurriene Diergaardt