Opening batter Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano scored a magnificent half-century on her return to the national team but her effort was in vain as Zimbabwe suffered a shock seven-wicket defeat in the opening match of the Capricorn Women’s Tri-Nations cricket series in Windhoek on Wednesday.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first, Zimbabwe posted a competitive 130/3 off their 20 overs, but Namibia’s batters, led by Arrasta Diergaardt with an unbeaten half-century, saw them reaching 131/3 with two balls remaining.
Mugeri-Tiripano dominated Zimbabwe’s innings, scoring a superb 80 off only 59 balls in an innings which included 10 fours and two sixes before she was run out.
She however received little support, as the next best scores came from captain Mary Ann Musonda (14) and Modester Mupachikwa (12 not out).
For Namibia, Sune Wittmann took a wicket for 19 runs while Kayleen Greeca also claimed a wicket for 27 runs.
Despite their modest total, Zimbabwe would have still fancied their chances of restricting the hosts and they started brightly after dismissing Wittmann for 10 runs.
However, Diergaardt and Yasmeen Khan put them under pressure with a 62-run partnership, taking the score to 85 when Khan was dismissed for 36.
Wilka Mwatile kept the runs flowing with 13 off 12 balls, but in a tense finish it was Diergaardt who saw Namibia through to victory with a superb 62 not out off 60 balls which included two fours and three sixes..
For Zimbabwe, Michelle Mavinga took three wickets for 10 runs while returning allrounder and Anesu Mushangwe claimed a wicket for 23 runs.
Zimbabwe 130 for 3 in 20 overs (Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 80; Sune Wittmann 1/19) lost to Namibia 131/3 in 19.4 overs (Jurriene Diergaardt 62*, Yasmeen Khan 36; Michelle Mavunga 2/10)
Player Of The Match: Jurriene Diergaardt