ZIMBABWE’s preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 (T20) got off to the worst possible start as they slumped to a humiliating four-wicket defeat to minnows Hong Kong in their first official warm-up match at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium in Chittagong yesterday.
Hong Kong won the toss and hoping to make use of the spin -riendly conditions chose to field before restricting Zimbabwe to 153 for seven in their allotted 20 overs.
Zimbabwe, however, failed to defend their score as Hong Kong reached 159 for six in their allotted 20 overs to complete a confidence-boosting win.
Hong Kong’s Middle order batsman Mark Chapman, who finished off the match with a six off the bowling of Tendai Chatara, was the hero for the Asian side as he finished unbeaten on 53 off just 33 deliveries.
Earlier Zimbabwe looked set to post a much lower target until allrounder Elton Chigumbura scored a quickfire 45 off just 18 deliveries to steer the African side to a respectable score.
However, Zimbabwe’s target always looked lightweight on what appeared to be a good batting track and Hong Kong took full advantage to pull off a massive shock victory.
Offspinner Prosper Utseya was Zimbabwe’s most consistent bowler as he led the spin bowling attack from the front taking three crucial wickets for just 19 runs in four overs.
However, he lacked support from his teammates as leg spinner Tafadzwa Kamungozi failed to take advantage of a promising start while Natsai Mushangwe was equally ineffective.
Zimbabwe will play Afghanistan on Friday in another warm-up match before facing Ireland next Monday in their first Group B match in the preliminary stages of the ICC World T20 competition