Chatara and Tiripano shine as Zimbabwe beats Hong Kong

Holding its nerve in the contest’s closing stages, Zimbabwe’s bowlers bottled up hong Kong, with pacer Tendai Chatara even coming close to getting a hat-trick in the run-up to victory.

Zimbabwe's Tendai Chatara bowling during the opening match of the T20 Cricket World Cup between Zimbabwe and Hong Kong at Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium.   -  K. R. Deepak

Hong Kong’s pursuit of Zimbabwe’s 158 for eight spluttered to a halt 14 short of target in its ICC World Twenty 20 championship qualifying round match at the Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium on Tuesday evening. Holding its nerve in the contest’s closing stages, Zimbabwe’s bowlers bottled up the island nation, with pacer >Tendai Chatara even coming close to getting a hat-trick in the run-up to victory.

>Full scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In the chase, Hong Kong lost fewer wickets but frequently fell short of its rival in the scoring rate. Past the half way stage, it stepped on the gas, Jamie Atkinson’s (53, 4 x 4, 2 x 6) huge sixes perking up the pace. Following in his footsteps, the middle order heaved at everything that came its way, which brought in the boundaries but cost the team dear in the outfield.

>Also watch: Key moments of the game

Earlier Zimbabwe, reeling at 62 for four, was helped to a respectable score by a 51-ball 61-run fifth wicket stand between >Vusi Sibanda (59, 5 x 4, 2 x 6) and Malcolm Waller. Elton Chigumbura’s unbeaten cameo lower down the order ensured that the African side finished on a high.

The tournament got under way with some firecrackers from Zimbabwe captain >Hamilton Masakadza , who hit three boundaries and a six. A single proved ill-fated for the skipper though, who was run out after he failed to get his foot in the door and ground his bat. Undeterred, Sibanda cut loose, his drives taking off like tracer bullets towards the ropes. A six brought up his half century enroute to his highest score in the shortened format.

The Hong Kong bowling made quick inroads early in the game tough, picking up wickets of Richard Mutmbami and Sean Williams in quick succession. Sikandar Raza’s run out vindicated Hong Kong’s decision to bowl first, its dominant attack backed by fine fielding.

But Zimbabwe never made it look easy for the chasing >Hong Kong side as its bowlers kept producing break-throughs at regular intervals. The Hong Kong skipper Tanwir came in the end and played some huge shots but couldn't manage a win. Chatara and >Tiripano > were the pick of Zimbabwe’s bowlers as they both took two wickets each and bowled with a great economy rate.