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Zimbabwe alive in World T20 with last-ball win

Sylhet, Bangladesh: Skipper Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza kept Zimbabwe’s hopes alive in the World Twenty20 tournament on Wednesday with a hard-fought five-wicket win over the Netherlands in Sylhet.

Taylor hit a solid 39-ball 49, while Masakadza scored 43 off 45 balls to help Zimbabwe pass their 141-run target with a six off the last ball.

When Taylor was dismissed after hitting two fours and a six, 15 runs were needed off the last 11 balls.

When the last over began, seven were still needed. Sean Williams hit a lucky boundary and then ran himself out for 26 with the scores tied. But Vusi Sibanda hit paceman Ahsan Malik for a huge six to give Zimbabwe victory.

Taylor said there was still plenty of room for improvement.

“We committed very basic errors on the boundary, which cost us 10-15 runs,” he said. “It wasn’t good enough for a professional outfit.

“Hopefully we can rectify that against the UAE and we’ll have a chance.”

Netherlands skipper Peter Borren felt his team fell 20 runs short.

“That said, we’ve got a good varied bowling attack, but we would have been confident with 150,” he said.

The Netherlands, who won the toss and batted, were lifted from a precarious 19-3 to 140-5 by a fighting 58-ball 72 not out from Tom Cooper, including nine fours and a six.

Cooper added an invaluable 52 for the fifth wicket with brother Ben Cooper (20) after spinner Prosper Utseya (2-24) had dismissed opener Stefan Myburgh for a duck off the third ball of the innings.

The Netherlands won their opening match against the UAE in Group B. They will now face Ireland on Friday to decide who goes through to the next round.

Wednesaday’s win keeps Zimbabwe in the race after they lost their first match to Ireland. They face the UAE on Friday.

Bangladesh won both their games in Group A.

The top two teams from the preliminary rounds will join the eight seeded teams in the Super-10 stage starting March 21.