Scotland’s hopes of securing a maiden One-Day International series win over a full member were dashed after Graeme Cremer’s five-for and an all-round performance from Sikandar Raza helped Zimbabwe level the two-match ODI series with a six-wicket win in Edinburgh on Saturday.
Having restricted Scotland to 169 in 42 overs, Zimbabwe rode on unbeaten knocks from Raza (58 not out off 88 balls) and Ryan Burl (30 not out off 43). The duo put on an unbroken 72 for the fifth wicket to reach the target with 13 overs remaining.
Batting first, Kyle Coetzer, the Scotland skipper, who led from the front with a century in the first ODI, top-scored again with a run-a-ball 61 before being stumped off Cremer.
Cremer ran through the middle order as no batsman barring Coetzer and Calum Macleod (58 off 78 balls) were able to make meaningful contributions.
From 106 for 1, when it looked like it would put in a competitive score, Scotland collapsed.
Michael Leask, who scored a half-century in the previous match, was left stranded on 11 as Raza cleaned up the tail.
Scotland folded for 169 in 42 overs, losing nine wickets for just 63 runs. Cremer finished with 5 for 29 in his 10 overs – his second career five-for – while Raza and Sean Williams chipped in with two wickets apiece.
Zimbabwe made a steady start in its chase with Solomon Mire and Hamilton Mazakadsa putting on 30 for the opening wicket, before both openers were dismissed by Chris Sole.
Craig Ervine looked settled during his 30 off 48 balls, but was castled by Josh Davey after putting on a 55-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Raza.