Bennett stars as Zimbabwe rout Namibia in African Games opener

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Brian Bennett

Zimbabwe’s rising star Brian Bennett smashed an exciting half century to inspire the Chevrons to a 35-run victory over Namibia in the first match of the men’s Twenty20 competition at the 13th African Games in Accra, Ghana, on Sunday.

Twenty-year-old Bennett, who has been in superb form on the domestic circuit continued his purple patch with a fine innings of 65 runs from just 39 balls as Zimbabwe set a challenging total of 197 for six in their allotted 20 overs.

Bennett’s innings which featured four boundaries and three sixes was well complemented by crucial knocks from Jonathan Campbell (39 off 27), skipper Clive Madande 32 from 23 while Rodney Mupfudza provided a late flourish with 28 runs from 15 balls.

In reply Namibia got off to an impressive start with Malan Kruger (46) and Nikolaas Davin (37) scoring 73 off seven overs for the first wicket.

Jonathan Campbell and Clive Madande running between the wicket during Zimbabwe’s African Games match against Namibia in Accra, Ghana

Zimbabwe’s bowlers responded superbly with left arm spinner Owen Muzondo following up his cameo with the bat by dismissing both openers on his way to finishing with three wickets for 31.

He was well supported by seamer Tashinga Musekiwa, who claimed three wickets for 29 as Namibia were restricted to 162 for eight.

The victory was a welcome morale booster for Zimbabwe, who were under heavy pressure to win against a Namibian team that has lately become their bogey side.

Last November, Namibia was one of the upcoming African teams that prevented Zimbabwe from qualifying for this year’s T20 World Cup in the Americas.

Zimbabwe will be hoping to continue their good start when they face Tanzania next on Monday before they entertain Nigeria on Wednesday to complete their Group B fixtures.

The top two sides in the group will proceed to the semi-finals slated for Thursday.

Scores in brief

Zimbabwe – 197-6 in 20 overs (Brian Bennett 65, Johnathan Campbell 39, Rodney Mupfudza 32; Nicol Eaton-Loftie 2/27, Simon Shikongo 1/9, Gerhard van Rensburg 1/11)

Namibia – 162-8 in 20 overs (Malan Kruger 46, Nikolaas Davin 37, Gerhard van Rensburg 32; Tashinga Musekiwa 3/28, Owen Muzondo 3/31, Tony Munyonga 1/16)

Zimbabwe won by 35 runs

 

 

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