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October 13, 2008
Zimbabwe 184 for 5 (Masakadza 79) beat Canada 75 (Samad 25, Utseya 3-26) by 109 runs
Canada may lack the might and skill of Pakistan and Sri Lanka, but Zimbabwe don't often have the opportunity to rout opposition. That's exactly what they achieved today, however, thrashing Canada by 109 runs and, in doing so, winning the third-place playoff in the T20 Canada. It was an important win for Zimbabwe, not least because their opponents today forced a bowl-out in their last game.
No need for such footballesque antics this time, however. Hamilton Masakadza again propped up the batting with a brutal 79, and he was well supported by useful contributions from Chamu Chibhabha (40), Elton Chigumbura (25) and Keith Dabengwa, lifting Zimbabwe to the lofty heights of 184 for 5. It was by 31 runs the tournament's highest score, and comfortably Zimbabwe's best in this format - all the more impressive given the juicy, overcast and bowler-friendly conditions.
After the early loss of Cephas Zhuwawo, Chibhabha and Masakadza put on 89 for the second wicket at a rollicking rate. Much as he did yesterday in his entertaining but futile 53, Masakadza was savage on anything too short - of which, from Canada, there was plenty. Four crunching boundaries off the usually economical Harvir Baidwan propelled Zimbabwe before he took Abdool Samad for two huge sixes over the bowler's head. Samad removed him after the second crashing blow, stumped by Ashif Mulla, but the damage had been done.
Impressively, Zimbabwe didn't let their foot off the gas, with Chigumbura launching Samad for six, four, four in a blistering 25 from just 10 balls. Likewise, Dabengwa iced the cake with three more boundaries in the final over, taking advantage of Canada's obvious lack of experience.
A target of 185 would challenge better sides than Canada, and they were immediately put on the back foot with the early wickets of Ashif Mulla and Rizwan Cheema, whose thrilling strokeplay yesterday made Sri Lanka sweat. When Sandeep Jyoti was stumped off Ray Price, Canada had fallen to 10 for 3; at the halfway point, they had crawled to 27 for 4, still needing 158 to win. They avoided the ignominy of the lowest Twenty20 total (Kenya's 67 against Ireland in August), but only by a whisker. Prosper Utseya, with 3 for 26, was the pick of the bowlers, ably supported by Price's remarkably economical return of 2 for 6, as Canada sunk without trace.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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