Singapore 181 for 9 (Manpreet 41, David 41, Burl 3-24) beat Zimbabwe 177 for 7 (Williams 66, Chakabva 48, Mahboob 2-20, Prakash 2-34)
When Tony Munyonga cut teenager Sidhant Singh for only a single in the game’s final ball at the Indian Association Ground in Singapore, history was made as the hosts beat a Full Member for the first time in international cricket.
In an rain-hit 18-over contest Zimbabwe fell four short of the 182 target despite Sean Williams‘ 66, to lose their first game of the tri-nation series that now sees both teams (and the other side Nepal) tied on two points each.
It seemed victory was Zimbabwe’s when Williams was at the crease. He had struck five sixes and five fours in his 35-ball stay, but fell in the 16th over with Zimbabwe still 19 away from the target. Only four down, they were still favourites to cross the line with Ryan Burl and Richmond Mutambami in the middle, but a double-wicket over from Janak Prakash – which cost only seven runs – turned the scales in Singapore’s favour.
With the big-hitting Burl gone and Zimbabwe’s lower order suddenly exposed, Singapore captain Amjad Mahboob brought back fast bowler Sidhant for the game’s final over, and he delivered, conceding only five when Zimbabwe needed 10.
Zimbabwe’s innings was given an early impetus by their opener Regis Chakabva, who struck 48 in 19 balls. Chakabva was brutal, in particular, on Vinoth Baskaran, taking 18 runs in just one over. That put Zimbabwe ahead of the net run-rate early and with No. 3 Williams for company, the duo added 41 for the second wicket. Williams switched on big-hitting mode against Tim David, whacking him for 24 runs in the 12th over. And yet somehow Singapore stayed in the game with three tight overs that saw both set batsmen dismissed. Thereafter, it was a simple matter of holding their nerve, which they did, conceding only one boundary in the final two overs to complete a remarkable win.
That Singapore made 181 for 9 was courtesy their wicketkeeper, No. 5 Manpreet Singh and allrounder David. Both struck 41 each, in 23 and 24 deliveries respectively, to lift Singapore to a challenging total. Singapore had earlier added over 60 in the Powerplay thanks to their openers Rohan Rangarajan (39) and Surendran Chandramohan (23) but Burl’s two wickets in his opening spell pegged Singapore’s progress in the middle overs.
It was then that David and Manpreet added a quickfire 38 for the fourth wicket, and when the former was dismissed in the 13th over, the latter took hit the accelerator. Singapore added 59 off the last five overs, and that late burst, eventually, was the difference between the two sides.