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Zimbabwe Strike Gold Again As Emerging Side Thrash Namibia In Final

Namibia – 113-7 in 20 overs (Dylan Leicher 29, JP Kotze 26, Malan Kruger 22; Owen Muzondo 1/10, Kudakwashe Macheka 1/14, Wallace Mubayiwa 1/15)

Zimbabwe – 114-2 in 14.5 overs (Tadiwanashe Marumani 58, Rodney Mupfudza 24, Johnathan Campbell 23*; Peter-Daniel Blignaut 2/15)

Zimbabwe won by eight wickets

Zimbabwe’s men emulated their women’s team by winning the gold medal at the 13th Africa Games in Accra as they overwhelmed Namibia by eight wickets in the final on Saturday.

Set an easy target of 114, the emerging side – made up of upcoming players under the age of 25 – sailed home with 5.1 overs to spare, Tadiwanashe Marumani leading the way with his highest T20 score of 58.

Namibia won the toss and batted, which has been the usual practice in this tournament.

Perhaps they were overcome by the nerves of a final, but they made a poor show with the bat and their innings never took off, as most of the batters seemed more concerned with keeping their wickets intact rather than taking the risks that the format and the situation demanded.

Brian Bennett ran out Nikolaas Davin for one in the first over, and in the third Wallace Mubayiwa bowled Gerhard van Rensburg, also for one – two down for five runs.

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There followed a recovery as Malan Kruger (22) and JP Kotze (26) added 36 runs in six overs, and after 11 overs the score was only 59 runs for four wickets down.

The fifth wicket put on 41 in seven overs, with Dylan Leicher scoring 29, while his partner Jan Balt took 25 balls to score 18.

The 100 did not come up until the 18th over, and the innings petered out for a score of only 113 for seven wickets after the full 20 overs.

The Zimbabweans produced good tight bowling, five bowlers taking a wicket each and there were two run-outs.

None of the bowlers went for as many as seven runs an over, with Mubayiwa producing the best figures of one for 15 in his four overs.

Zimbabwe were therefore under no great pressure to take risks, with Rodney Mupfudza and Marumani opening their innings.

They played themselves in for three overs, scoring 10 runs, and then began to attack confidently, scoring 11 and 14 runs respectively off the next two overs, with Marumani hitting Handre Klazinge for three successive fours.

The fifty went up in the seventh over, but at 55 they lost Mupfudza, who was stumped for 24.

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After 10 overs the score was 74 for one, with Johnathan Campbell having joined Marumani.

Campbell kept a cool head and kept pushing the ball away for ones and twos, while Marumani played in his natural style, unable to resist a big hit quite frequently.

In going for a hit with three needed for victory, Marumani was bowled, having scored his 58 off 40 deliveries, with three sixes and six fours.

Clive Madande, appropriately there at the finish, scored a single and three balls later Campbell scored a two that took Zimbabwe home.

He finished with 23 off 24 balls and scored just one four, a well-judged innings.

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