England waltz past Zimbabwe

Newlands, Cape Town once again. However today the weather gods were smiling with England taking on the mighty Zimbabwe on the back of their historic victory over the world champions the night previous.

England skipper Paul Collingwood won the toss and decided to bat. The pitch today looked much better than the one provided for the first game, so the decision to bat wasn’t such a difficult one.

England started the match as everyone expected. The team full of big hitters and the openers were no exception. Prior and Maddy, both of whom are more Twenty20 specialists took to the opening bowling partnership of Brent and Chigumbura.

Chigumbura though was able to stem the run flow after his first few balls and got the vital first wicket of Maddy trying to play a slog hook only managing to send it right down the throat of Maksikenyeri for 14 leaving England on 20-1.

That set Zimbabwe in their way. Chigumbura had Luke Wright the very next ball and glimpses of another upset were looking ominous.

England lost a third wicket but from then Kevin Pietersen took hold of a few balls and allowed the scoring to tick over. Himself and Collingwood were able to put in a 100 run partnership in just 54 balls. By this time Zimbabwe were struggling to keep in touch before a few late wickets brought on by some brilliant Zimbabwe catches and run outs restricted England to only 188 when at one point they were looking at getting more like 220.

Zimbabwe started their innings off in fine style. Similar to the start they got against Australia. Zimbabwe lost their first wicket for 74 after the 9th over. Their rate at that moment was ahead of England and the possibility of another upset was right in England’s face.

Zimbabwe however lost 4 quick wickets to leave them reeling and the bowling of Schofield and Mascarenhas tied Zimbabwe down with the run rate ever increasing.

Once Taylor and Sibanda had been dismissed, its was just a matter of time for Zimbabwe, and it turned out to be a game of just how many runs Zimbabwe would lose by to ensure the least amount of damage was done to their net run rate, which would come into effect if Australia were to beat England tomorrow.

England 188-9 (20 overs)
Kevin Pietersen 79, Paul Collingwood 37
Elton Chigumbura 4-31

Zimbabwe 138-6 (20 overs)
Brendan Taylor 47, Vusi Sibanda 29
Dimitri Mascarenhas 3-18, Chris Schofield 2-25

England won by 50 runs.
Man of the Match: Kevin Pietersen

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