Madhevere’s hat trick guides Zim to series-levelling victory against Netherlands

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By Sports Reporter

RISING star Wessly Madhevere became the third Zimbabwean to take a hat-trick in One Day International (ODI) cricket to inspire the Chevrons to a series-levelling one-run victory against Netherlands in a nail-biting second ODI at Harare Sports Club on Thursday.

The result leaves the three-match series alive at 1-1 ahead of the series decided at the same venue on Saturday.

After Zimbabwe had earlier been bowled out for 271 runs in 49.2 overs, the Netherlands were in control at the start of the 44th over, as they needed 59 runs from 42 balls with seven wickets in hand.

Max O’Dowd (81) and Tom Cooper (74) had earlier laid the foundation for what seemed a likely Netherlands win with a second-wicket partnership of 125 off 152 balls.

An inspired Madhevere, who had earlier contributed 43 runs off 50 balls with the bat however, changed the course of the game with the first three balls of his over.

The 22-year-old off-spinner had the dangerous Colin Ackermann, who was well set on 28 runs, stumped by the wicketkeeper Clive Madande.

He followed that up with another superb delivery which cleaned up Netherlands’ centurion in the previous match Teja Nidamanuru for a first-ball duck.

Spurred on by a small but very vocal home crowd Madhevere sealed the hattrick with a sharp turning delivery which dismantled Paul van Meekeren’s stumps for another first-ball duck as  Netherlands slipped from 213 for three to 213 for six.

Madhevere joined Eddo Brandes (1997 against England) and Prosper Utseya (2014 against South Africa), the only other Zimbabwe players with an ODI hat-trick but more importantly put Zimbabwe, who moments earlier had been staring a certain defeat, back in contention.

Netherlands captain Scott Edwards hit 36 but his team’s hopes seemed over when he fell to off-spinner Sikandar Raza with 20 runs still needed off nine balls. It came down to 10 needed off the last two balls.

Fred Klaassen hit a six off Tendai Chatara and then drove the last ball into the covers. The batsmen ran two, but Brad Evans’ throw to Chatara left Klein well short of his ground, ensuring Zimbabwe held on for a crucial victory.

Earlier Sean Williams, returning after a finger injury, top-scored for Zimbabwe with 77 while Madande (52) struck back-to-back half-centuries as the pair shared a 104-run stand for the sixth wicket which brought the Chevrons back into the contest after a middle-order collapse.

The 19-year-old leg-spinner Shariz Ahmad took five wickets for 43 runs for the Netherlands.

The series decider will be played at the same venue on Saturday.