Edinburgh, Sep 18 : The three-match T20I series between Scotland and Zimbabwe hangs in the balance after the visitors levelled the field with a win in the second T20I, effectively taking the series to a decider.
Zimbabwe's bowling had a resounding impact on which way the result swung in the second T20I. Richard Ngarava with a spell of 4-1-13-2 was awarded the Player of the Match. Ngarava bowled the penultimate over and conceded just 4 runs that included a dropped chance giving Wellington Masakadza a cushion of 13 runs in the final over.
Scotland were put under pressure with early collapse but showed signs of a fightback. Richie Berrington and Matthew Cross led the rebuilding but couldn't do enough to help the hosts cross the finish line.
Scotland requires a stable start at the top in the Powerplay to improve their chances of winning the series.
Zimbabwe, opting to bat, lost early wickets in straightforward dismissals. Craig Ervine (30) and Sean Williams joined forces to steady the ship with a 71-run stand. Williams went about his business astutely and registered his sixth T20I half-century. His unbeaten 60 off 52 balls, supported by Ryan Burl's 13* took the visitors to a modest total of 136/5.
In their chase, Scotland were off to a similar start with the loss of four wickets for 16 runs in 4.1 overs. They found stability in Berrington and Cross's 75-run partnership, with both scoring 42 runs each.
However, the match went till the final over with Scotland needing 13 runs. Zimbabwe's Wellington Masakadza bowled a thrilling final over. The hosts lost the plot with four wickets in four balls - two run-outs and two caught. Scotland were wrapped for 126, losing the match by 10 runs.
But on Sunday, when the two teams meet for the decider, Scotland will be hoping to bat better and make things more difficult for Zimbabwe. Winning the series will give them a good momentum for tougher things ahead.