Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - Berrington, Sharif star in Scotland's seven-run win. Richie Berrington smashed an unbeaten 82
Richie Berrington smashed an unbeaten 82
Richie Berrington smashed an unbeaten 82 before Safyaan Sharif got four wickets to help Scotland take a 1-0 lead with a seven-run win over Zimbabwe in the opening T20I. Set 142, Zimbabwe were struggling at 58 for 4 in the 11th over but managed to get close because of Milton Shumba's unbeaten 45. However, Sharif defended 14 in the final over to ensure the hosts picked up the early series lead.
Scotland's early stutter
After Kyle Coetzer chose to bat, Scotland were rocked early and soon found themselves reeling at 30 for 4 inside the powerplay. Chatara bagged two of the top four to fall – Coetzer and MacLeod – while Wellington Masakadza and Richard Ngarava also helped the side make a good start. Matthew Cross and Richie Berrington steadied the innings with their 45-run stand but it was the latter's knock that helped Scotland put up a fighting score.
The Berrington show
Berrington made a steady start and as wickets fell around him – he slowly moved from being 14 off 15, to 20 off 19. The first sign of aggression came in the ninth over as he struck a six and a four against Masakadza. Scotland were 75 for 5 in the 12th over when Cross fell but Berrington managed to rally some support from Michael Leask and Sharif.
He reached his half-century with a six in the 14th over – off 41 balls – and took the side to 97 for 5 in 15. Scotland scored only 44 in the last five overs as Zimbabwe were able to mount pressure on the other batsmen. Ryan Burl leaked 14 in the 16th over but the visitors were still able to keep things in check in the next three. Jongwe was picked for 14 in the final over as Scotland managed to cross the 140-run mark.
Sharif's bright start
Just like Scotland, Zimbabwe too had to cope with early wickets. Sharif removed Wesley Madhevere and Tadiwanashe Marumani with just five on the board to ensure the hosts kept believing. Regis Chakabva and Craig Ervine took the side past 50 but two quick wickets left them hurting.
Zimbabwe's final dash
Sean Williams and Milton Shumba made 54 to rebuild the innings and Zimbabwe, from being 112 for 4 at one stage, slipped to 125 for 7. While Shumba was still at the crease, the wickets meant the task of getting 19 from the last two overs suddenly became much tougher. After just five in the penultimate over from Chris Sole, onus was on Shumba to score the 14 required for the win. Sharif was welcomed with a boundary but dismissed Masakadza on the third to leave Zimbabwe needing 9 off 3. Shumba ran a bye on the second ball and, in hindsight, that proved to be fatal.
Brief scores: Scotland 141/6 in 20 overs (Richie Berrington 82*; Tendai Chatara 2-23) beat Zimbabwe 134/9 in 20 overs (Milton Shumba 45; Safyaan Sharif 4-24) by seven runs.