Zimbabwe registered an incredible one-run win over Pakistan on Thursday at the T20 World Cup, delivering a big blow to the latter’s chances for a semi-final qualification in the tournament. Pakistan had earlier faced a four-wicket defeat to arch-rivals India in their opening game of the T20 World Cup last Sunday; with the Zimbabwe defeat, Pakistan will not only have to win all of their remaining games, but also hope for certain results to go in their favour among other matches in their group.
Sikandar Raza was the hero for Zimbabwe with the ball, as he picked three crucial wickets in the run-chase including that of Shan Masood, while Brad Evans, who bowled the last over of the match, produced a brilliant performance under-pressure to register figures of 2/25 in four overs.
Following the game, Raza was named the player of the match and also attended the post-match press conference. The first question that was asked to Raza was regarding Zimbabwe’s belief in their ability to win the game. “At what time, did you start believing that this match can come to your side?” the reporter asked Sikandar.
The Zimbabwean all-rounder had a rather savage response. “Before the first ball was bowled. I personally thought we were 15-20 runs short, but I really truly believed in this group of boys. We knew if we field well and take our chances, and cut those important twos, we can really win this game. And the way Ngarawa and Mbunu (Blessing Muzarabani) started the first two overs, and then ofcourse, we had early wickets,” Raza said.
When asked whether Zimbabwe can advance to the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup, Raza insisted that the side is taking one match at a time.
“We are going to take one game at a time. All our energy was on Pakistan, now we will shift to Bangladesh. We will do our analysis, we will take one game at a time. But inshallah, we believe in this group of boys. We have opened this group for everyone. Anyone who plays good cricket can win,” Raza further said.