World T20: Sibanda powers Zimbabwe to opening win

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Nagpur (India)—Zimbabwe survived a late batting charge by Hong Kong to win the opening match of the World Twenty20 by 14 runs on Tuesday.
Opening batsman Vusi Sibanda anchored Zimbabwe to 158-8 with 59 off 46 balls while Elton Chigumbura scored an unbeaten 30 off 13 deliveries after Hong Kong won the toss and chose to field in the first round Group B match.
Hong Kong opener Jamie Atkinson scored 53 and captain Tanwir Afzal was not out on 31 off 17 deliveries before Zimbabwe restricted them to 144-6.
“I thought to get to 150 after the wobble was a good effort,” Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza said. “Elton played well at the back end and Vusi controlled the innings … we needed somebody to take the innings deeper.”
Zimbabwe ran into early trouble when it lost four of its top five batsmen for 62 runs in the eighth over. Masakadza (20) and Sikandar Raza (3) were run out while Afzal removed Richmond Mutumbami for nought and Sean Williams played back onto his stumps (12).
Sibanda and Malcolm Waller added 61 runs off 50 balls before both fell to medium fast bowler Aizaz Khan in the 17th over to make it 125-6.
Chigumbura then took charge and hit three sixes in his brisk knock which gave Zimbabwe 29 runs in the last two overs which proved decisive in the end.
Atkinson took his time to settle in before he raised his half century with a six and a four off Tendai Chatara, but holed out at long off when he misread Donald Tiripano’s slower full delivery.
Chatara made a strong back by removing Anshuman Rath and Nizakat Khan off successive deliveries and Zimbabwe didn’t have to pay dearly when Chigumbura at point dropped Afzal on 17.
“We did well in the middle overs, and I thought we could have chased this (score),” Afzal said. “Credit to Zimbabwe. They bowled well in the powerplay, but we were in a position to keep them under 150.”
Afghanistan and Scotland are the other teams in the same first round group with the top side joining South Africa, England, West Indies and Sri Lanka in Group B in the second round, starting next week.—AP

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