Those brushing aside the ‘Mr Bean’ debate before the T20 World Cup Super 12 Group 2 match Pakistan and Zimbabwe were in for a reality check after the Craig Ervine-led side stunned Babar Azam’s men by 1 run at the Sydney Cricket Ground on Thursday. First, Zimbabwe’s President, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, took a dig at Pakistan by saying “Next time, send the real Mr Bean” and then, within a couple of hours, Pakistan Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, responded to it by saying “have a habit of bouncing back.”
“We may not have the real Mr Bean, but we have real cricketing spirit .. and we Pakistanis have a funny habit of bouncing back:) Mr President: Congratulations. Your team played really well today,” the Pakistan Prime Minister wrote accompanied by a clap emoticon.
Zimbabwe President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, on Thursday, congratulated the cricket team after their win against Pakistan, however, he raised many eyebrows with his mention of Mr Bean. “What a win for Zimbabwe! Congratulations to the Chevrons. Next time, send the real Mr Bean…#PakvsZim,” he wrote.
President Emmerson took a jibe at Pakistan’s comedian Asif Muhammad, a doppelganger of Mr Bean, played by actor Rowan Atkinson. Asif had travelled to Zimbabwe in 2016 posing as the actual Mr Bean. Pakistan Cricket Board uploaded a post on its official Twitter account of the team’s players’ practising before the Zimbabwe match, to which a Twitter user, named Ngugi Chasura responded by saying, “As Zimbabweans, we won’t forgive you…you once gave us that Fraud Pak Bean instead of Mr Bean Rowan ..we will settle the matter tomorrow just pray the rains will save you…#ZIMVSPAK.”
The tweet sparked a whirlwind of reactions on social media and even earned the Pakistan-Zimbabwe match the tage of ‘Mr Bean derby’
Floored by an extraordinary last-ball defeat to arch-rivals India in their opening match on Sunday, Pakistan find their tournament in tatters after slumping to 129-8 in 20 overs, having earlier restricted Zimbabwe to a modest 130-8 at Perth Stadium.
Mohammed Nawaz, fresh off a horror last over against India that cost his side the match, saw his nightmare tournament continue when he was caught for 22 on the penultimate ball of the match off the bowling of Brad Evans (2-25), who had an 11-run cushion in the final over.
Shaheen Afridi was run out on the final ball, prompting the Zimbabwe players’ huge celebrations on the pitch.
“I really, truly believe in this group of boys,” man-of-the-match Raza told reporters.
“Since I’ve been part of Zimbabwe cricket, I would rate that as the best victory we’ve had. There’s no better stage. This is (the) World Cup, the biggest stage of all.”