Nannes, Gayle rule at the Stanbic Twenty20 Series in Zimbabwe
Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Australian speed merchant Dirk Nannes’s 2/17 was one of the bowling performances that helped his team Mountaineers beat the Mashonaland Eagles by 27 runs to in the final of the Stanbic Twenty20 Series on Sunday in Harare, Zimbabwe. Fellow RCB player Chris Gayle topped the run charts of the tournament despite his team Matabeleland Tuskers not reaching the final.
Nannes’s first spell very nearly ended the Eagles chances, removing eventual Man of the Series Peter Trego for just 1 run, conceding just 5 runs in his first 2 overs. He returned for a second spell when the batsmen were on the offensive. Conceding 12 runs off the first five balls of his third over, he finished it with the wicket of Nathan Waller, sealing the game and the tournament for the Mountaineers with figures of 2/17 from three overs.
Nannes was the joint third highest wicket taker in the series, taking 8 wickets in six matches with an eye popping economy rate of just 5.95.
Chris Gayle who played for the Matabeleland Tuskers led the run getters list for the tournament. Gayle hit 19 4s and 6s each, amassing 293 runs in 6 innings with 1 unbeaten knock, averaging 58.60 at a strike rate of 151.03. It included 2 fifties and a hundred - 109* off just 58 balls- but only one of those fifties came in a winning cause.
The lack of batting support for Gayle and poor bowling from the Tuskers was one of the reasons why their campaign ended at the qualifier for the final. Gayle’s half century in that game wasn’t enough for the Tuskers to overhaul the 207/7 that the Eagles had posted thanks to a 58 ball 121*from Netherlands batsman Ryan ten Doeschate.
The duo will now move on to their next T20 assignment in Australia, the Big Bash League where Gayle will turn out for Sydney Thunder and Nannes for Melbourne Renegades. Coming just 3 months from beginning of IPL 5, it will be a great indicator of the duo’s form before they unite to turn out for RCB in India.