Sikandar Raza smashed 82 off 48 balls to set up a convincing 31-run victory for Zimbabwe in their opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup against Ireland on Monday.

Zimbabwe lost three early wickets after being invited to bat first in Hobart, but Raza put on key partnerships to guide the team to 174-7 in Hobart.

Returning paceman Blessing Muzarabani took three wickets as Zimbabwe restricted Ireland to 143-9.

Zimbabwe are on track to make the Super 12 after winning the first of their three matches in round one.

Raza set the tone for the team’s domination after he put on attacking stands with Sean Williams and then Milton Shumba.

Ireland pace spearhead Josh Little got Regis Chakabva for nought with the second ball of the match and then dismissed Wesley Madhevere for 22.

Raza took nine balls to get going as he smashed Curtis Campher for two sixes in the ninth over and kept up the attack despite losing partners along the way.

He fell on the last ball of the innings off Mark Adair after hitting five fours and five sixes.

Ireland were never in the chase after losing their top four for just 22 runs inside four overs with pace bowler Richard Ngarava and Muzarabani sharing the spoils.

Campher, who made 27, and George Dockrell attempted to revive the chase in their stand of 42.

But Raza broke through with his off spin, dismissing Dockrell for 24.

Campher departed soon after and the Irish batting fizzled, despite cameos by Gareth Delany (24) and Barry McCarthy (22 not out).

Tendai Chatara finished with two wickets, missing out on a hat-trick.

Scotland stun two-time champions West Indies at T20 World Cup

George Munsey’s unbeaten half-century and some inspired bowling helped Scotland thrash two-time Twenty20 World Cup champions West Indies by 42 runs in another big upset on Monday.

The shock result comes a day after Namibia hammered Asia Cup winners Sri Lanka in the tournament opener in Australia.

Munsey’s 53-ball 66 laced with nine boundaries steered Scotland to 160-5 after being put in to bat first in the opening-round match in Hobart.

Left-arm spinner Mark Watt led the bowling charge to bundle out West Indies, winners of the title in 2012 and 2016, for 118 in 18.3 overs.

Minnows Scotland are on course for a second straight Super 12 place after achieving the feat last year.

“Obviously it is a special win for us. Took a lot of work and has given us belief,” said Scotland skipper Richie Berrington.

“We haven’t had as many T20 cricket as we would have liked but have played a lot of 50-overs cricket. It was about transferring those skills to the short form.”

Munsey, a left-handed batsman, and Michael Jones got Scotland off to a flier as they raced to 52 in 5.3 overs when rain interrupted play.

Munsey hit a string of boundaries including three straight fours off Alzarri Joseph, whose first over at a T20 World Cup cost 15 runs.

The 45-minute rain break seemed to hit the batting momentum as Jason Holder bowled Jones for 20 soon after play resumed and then sent back Matthew Cross for three in his next over.

Munsey, named man of the match, stood firm and attempted to rebuild with Berrington, who got a good start but fell on 16 off Joseph.

Munsey, playing his 54th T20 for Scotland, reached his first T20 World Cup fifty after a cameo by Calum MacLeod, who smashed 23 off 14.

Munsey finished with a flourish as he hit three fours in a 15-run 20th over from Odean Smith.

- ‘Tough loss’ -
West Indies now have no margin for further error if they are to progress to the Super 12 stage.

“Tough loss for us, obviously disappointed,” said skipper Nicholas Pooran.

“We have to work hard and win two games. We have to take accountability and responsibility.”

Kyle Mayers started aggressively in the West Indies reply with three boundaries, but mistimed a hit to be caught out by Munsey off pace bowler Josh Davey. He made 20.

Evin Lewis and Brandon King hit back with a flurry of boundaries in their attempt to get quick runs in the first six overs of powerplay – when only two fielders are allowed outside the inner circle.

But their stay was shortlived as left-handed Lewis fell for 14 and King was bowled by Watt, who returned figures of 3-12 from his four overs, for 17.

The two-time champions slipped further at 62-4 when off-spinner Michael Leask bowled Pooran for five.

Scotland’s bowlers kept chipping away as the rest of the West Indies batting caved in, despite a valiant 38 by Holder, who was last man out.

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