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Berrington, Sharif shine as Scotland seal a thriller

Sco v Zim, 1st T20I, report

Hit For Six!

Scotland are 1-0 up in the three-match T20I series after sealing a thrilling seven-run win over Zimbabwe.

Richie Berrington shone with the bat with a brisk 82* while Safyaan Sharif starred with the ball for Scotland with sensational figures of 4/24. 

Chasing 142, Zimbabwe lost their first wicket on the first ball of their innings, as Wesley Madhevere was caught behind off Sharif for a golden duck. The pacer struck again in his next over as Madhevere's opening partner Tadiwanashe Marumani followed suit, becoming the quick's second victim.

Regis Chakabva (17) and skipper Craig Ervine (26) joined forces and steadied the proceedings. Together they stitched a 48-run stand before the two batters were dismissed in quick succession by Mark Watt (1/17) and Ollie Hairs (1/19) respectively. 

Sean Williams contributed with a run-a-ball 28, sharing a 54-run stand with Milton Shumba. With wickets falling at regular intervals from one end, Shumba (45*) remained unperturbed. 

With 19 required from the last two overs, and Shumba looking set, Zimbabwe were edging closer to victory. But brilliant death bowling from Chris Sole (1/24) and Sharif sealed the deal for the hosts. Together they gave away 11 runs and claimed three wickets in the last two overs.  

Earlier, Scotland won the toss and elected to bat. They got off to a shaky start as they lost their top three batters – George Munsey (1), Kyle Coetzer (2) and Hairs (5) – inside three overs.

In the sixth over, they lost another wicket in Calum MacLeod (6), becoming Tendai Chatara's (2/23) second victim. Despite a flurry of wickets, Berrington stayed firm at the crease. 

He found support in Matthew Cross, with the duo sharing an important 45-run stand before Luke Jongwe (2/28) broke their partnership. He had Cross caught for 14 in the 13th over. Michael Leask also contributed with a 13-ball 11, while Sharif remained unbeaten on 9.

Berrington's solid contribution of 82* from 61 balls, which featured seven fours and three sixes, helped revive Scotland innings. From being 30/4 at one point, Scotland finished on a competitive 141/6.

The two sides will next meet for the second of the three T20Is at the same venue on Friday, 17 September. 

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