Zimbabwe’s chances of qualifying for the T20 World Cup in 2019 are slim to none after Uganda defeated Zimbabwe by an astonishing five wickets in Namibia during the African Region Qualifier. With three games remaining, Zimbabwe, who suffered a loss to the hosts earlier this week, occupy the fifth position in the points standings. The top two finishing teams (out of seven) advance to the USA and West Indies for a 20-team competition.
With 48 from 39, Sikandar Raza hauled Zimbabwe down to 136/7. But the batting around him collapsed, especially when faced with Dinesh Nakrani’s left-arm pace (final figures: 3 for 14). Henry Ssenyondo, a left-arm spinner, was also very effective, taking two wickets in three overs.
In the fourth over, Uganda was down to 12 for 2, but Alpesh Ramjani and Roger Mukasa struck a crucial 49-run stand to turn the chase around. Ramjani hit four fours and two sixes on his route to 40 off 26 balls, showing off his particularly vicious side against the Zimbabwean bowling. In the eleventh over, Zimbabwe brought an end to his explosive performance, but Riazat Ali Shah came in to bat at a similar pace. His 28-ball 42 had one six, five fours, and one three.
Uganda needed to score thirty runs in the final three overs to win the chase. In the eighteenth over, Nakrani and Ali Shah targeted Tendai Chatara, striking him for twenty runs. In the last over, Richard Ngarava got rid of Ali Shah, but it was too little, too late, and Uganda finished the chase with five balls remaining. The final three games Zimbabwe has scheduled are against Kenya, Nigeria, and Rwanda.