Zimbabwe’s national cricket team has been handed a huge wake-up call ahead of the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup Group B Qualifiers after succumbing to a disappointing 3-2 series defeat to minnows Namibia at Queens Sports Club on Tuesday.
With the series locked at 2-2, Zimbabwe appeared on course to salvage a win in the series after restricting Namibia to 127 for eight in their allotted 20 overs.
Instead, the hosts were bundled out for 96 in 19, 1 overs to slump to a disappointing 32 run loss.
Zimbabwe’s shocking series defeat to Namibia leaves head coach Lalchand Rajput under immense pressure ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup qualifiers in July.
For Namibia, who have made tremendous strides in world cricket over the last two years, it was their first T20I series win over an International Cricket Council Full Member.
The Zimbabwean bowlers had done well to restrict Namibia to 127/8 in 20 overs only for the batsmen to disappoint, Zimbabwe bowled out for 95 in 19.1 overs.
Man of the match Craig Williams top-scored for the Namibians with 48 off 39 deliveries, with the next best score being Ruben Trumpelmann’s 19 from 14 deliveries.
In reply, Zimbabwe, who were without skipper Craig Ervine, got off to a promising start with a 23-run opening stand between inform Wessley Madhevere (10) and Innocent Kaia (12).
Madhevere was trapped in front of the stumps by Jan Frylinck, who bowled stand-in skipper Regis Chakabva for a duck with his next delivery before Kia was run out to leave Zimbabwe on 27 for three inside four overs.
Zimbabwe continued losing wickets regularly as Sikandar Raza was caught behind off Ben Shikongo for 12 before Bernard Scholtz bowled Richmond Mutumbami (1).
Tony Munyonga put up some resistance with a 31-ball 28 but his dismissal by David Wiese all but ended Zimbabwe’s hopes of rescuing the match as they slumped to 98 all-out.
Gerhard Erasmus was the most impressive of the Namibian bowlers with two wickets for nine runs in three overs.