Zimbabwe began their World Cup campaign in style, thrashing Papua New Guinea by ten wickets in the rain-affected tie that was reduced to 20 overs per side in Lincoln.
With an eye on rain, Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bowl first. The decision, however, initially looked to have backfired as Papua New Guinea openers Igo Mahuru and Simon Atai added 41 runs in quick time. However, the innings derailed after Mahuru was sent back by Robert Chimhinya.
Mahuru’s run-a-ball 26 remained the top score as his side was eventually all out for 95 in 20 overs. Simon Atai (14), Sinaka Arua (18) and Ovis Sam (24) tried to propel their side to a challenging total but every time Papua New Guinea tried to get the momentum by increasing the run-rate, they ended up conceding a wicket. Daure Aiga, Nou Rarua and Eisa Eka came at number six, seven and eight but returned to the pavilion without even bothering the scorer. The batsmen who followed them also failed to deliver as Papua New Guinea squandered a promising start to get all out for a paltry 95.
For Zimbabwe, off-spinner Wesley Madhevere was the pick of the bowler, taking 3 for 19 while Milton Shumba took 2 for 19.
In response, Zimbabwe’s opening duo of Gregory Dollar and Wesley Madhavere took their side home by sharing an unbeaten partnership of 98 runs off 14 overs. Madhavere scored a stroke-filled 53, hitting six fours in his 44-ball knock while Dollar scored 41 off 40 including five fours.
Zimbabwe 98 ( Madhavere 53*, Dollar 41*) beat Papua New Guinea 95 ( Mahuru 26, Madhavere 3 for 19) by 10 wickets.