SYLHET, Bangladesh: Zimbabwe notched a thrilling last-ball victory against a spirited Netherlands in a World Twenty20 qualifier on Wednesday to stay in contention for the main round.
Needing one run off the last ball, Vusi Sibanda lofted fast bowler Ahsan Malik over long on for a six to get his team over the line at 146-5.
Tom Cooper's brilliant unbeaten 72 off 58 balls lifted the Netherlands to 140-5 after Zimbabwe had them at 4-35 within the first five overs. Offspinner Prosper Utseya (2-24) claimed two wickets.
Cooper hit nine fours and a six and added 52 runs for the fifth wicket with Ben Cooper (20) before cutting loose in a 53-run stand with Mudassar Bukhari (14 not out).
Zimbabwe's run chase was smooth as opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza and captain Brendan Taylor put on 62 runs for the second wicket, until medium pacer Pieter Sellar removed Masakadza and Elton Chigumbura within three deliveries.
Taylor scored 49 off 39 balls before he fell in the 19th over with Zimbabwe still needing 15 runs.
"Very basic errors on the boundary cost us 10-15 runs, not good enough for a professional outfit," Taylor said. "Hopefully, we can rectify that against UAE and we'll be a chance."
Ireland defeated Zimbabwe in the first match, and met United Arab Emirates late Wednesday.
Zimbabwe 146-5 in 20 overs (Brendan Taylor 49, Hamilton Masakadza 43; Pieter Seelaar 2-9) def. Netherlands: 140-5 in 20 (Tom Cooper 72 not out, Ben Cooper 20; Prosper Utseya 2-24) by 5 wickets.