The Durban Qalandars won a thriller to kick start the fifth day of the inaugural edition of the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10 at the Harare Sports Club. The Qalandars, who were given a great start by Tim Seifert, defeated the Joburg Buffaloes by 2 runs.
Batting first, the Durban Qalandars made a good start with Tim Seifert taking the attack to the Joburg Buffaloes. While Seifert attacked from one end, it was Hazratullah Zazai who was the first wicket of the day, caught in the deep for 2.
Seifert helped the Qalandars cross the 50-run mark and was dismissed shortly after for 46 from 20 deliveries, having hit four boundaries and four sixes during that knock. Andre Fletcher tried to up the ante as well, but was castled for 9, after which the duo of Craig Ervine (30*) and Asif Ali took charge.
The duo were on fire, and found the fence regularly with relative ease during their partnership, providing the Qalandars a big boost in the final phase of the innings.
They put on a solid 63-run partnership and Asif Ali ended the innings with a hat-trick of sixers, helping the Qalandars post a solid 121/3 in their quota of 10 overs. Ervine had smashed a couple of boundaries and as many sixers, while Ali finished with four sixes during a 10-ball unbeaten 31.
In response, the Buffaloes had a slow start, losing their openers early on. Milton Shumba was packed off by Mohammad Amir for 9 and Will Smeed was accounted for by Tendai Chatara for 7. That brought the duo of Mohammad Hafeez and Yusuf Pathan to the middle, and the experienced batters steadied the ship.
They put on a 34-run stand as the Buffaloes crossed the 50-run mark, and were looking good for the long haul. However, skipper Hafeez, who scored 30 from 13 deliveries, was the next to depart in the sixth over.
While Yusuf continued to soldier on, Delano Potgieter perished for 5 while trying to clear the ropes in the 8th over. Yusuf was then joined by Ravi Bopara but the Indian batter was also dismissed for 32 as he looked to launch it over the covers. Bopara was joined by Mushfiqur Rahim with the game hanging in the balance, as the Buffaloes needed 21 to win off the final over.
Rahim smashed four boundaries in the final over, but the Buffaloes fell agonisingly short, losing by 2 runs eventually.