Namibia 127 for 8 (Williams 48, Madhevere 2-15, Jongwe 2-16) beat Zimbabwe 95 all out (Munyonga 28, Erasmus 2-9, Frylinck 2-25) by 32 runs
Namibia have won their first T20I series against a Full Member after beating Zimbabwe by 32 runs in the deciding fixture of their five-match series, which was locked at 2-2 entering the final match.
In the finale, Namibia defended 127, only the second time in the series that a total that was not successfully chased, by bowling out Zimbabwe for 95, their second-lowest T20I total. In the process, Namibia have underlined how they have risen to become Africa's second-best team, after South Africa, which has seen them attain automatic qualification for the first stage of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, have not competed at a T20 World Cup since 2016 and missed out on the 2019 edition after the temporary suspension of their board. They are due to host the qualifiers in July for the 2022 edition and have organised fixtures against Namibia and Afghanistan to prepare. So far, the signs are that they have much improving to do, particularly in their batting.
Zimbabwe were without regular captain Craig Ervine for this match and missed his experience, especially after Wessley Madhevere, their leading batter in the series, was dismissed early. Madhevere was the first wicket to fall, lbw to Jan Frylinck, who bowled stand-in skipper Regis Chakabva with his next delivery. Zimbabwe were 23 for 3 and slipped to 54 for 5 when Bernard Scholtz bowled Richmond Mutumbami.
Tony Munyonga, who made his comeback in this series after last playing in 2019, put up some resistance with a 31-ball 28 but when David Wiese dismissed him in 17th over, Zimbabwe were all but defeated. They lost their four wickets for seven runs and were bowled out inside their 20 overs. Gerhard Erasmus finished with the best return among the Namibian bowlers: 2 for nine.
It was not always that grim for Zimbabwe having pulled Namibia back from 79 for 4 in the first 10 overs to allow them to score only 48 runs in the last 10. Despite a strong start, Only veteran opener Craig Williams scored more than 20 as Zimbabwe's seamers and spinners shared wickets between them. Brad Evans took his first T20 wicket when he had Michael van Lingen caught behind before Luke Jongwe struck twice to remove Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton and Erasmus.
Sikandar Raza and Madhevere took two wickets apiece and conceded only 33 runs in their eight overs to keep Namibia quiet. In the end, Frylinck's 15 and Ruben Trumpelmann's 14-ball 19 at No.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.