Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by one run at T20 World Cup

Zimbabwe beat Pakistan by one run at T20 World Cup

Thursday in Perth, Zimbabwe stunned Pakistan by one run, putting the Asian giants in risk of an early exit from the Twenty20 World Cup.

Zimbabwe elected to bat first and was restricted to 130-8, but their spinners, headed by Pakistani-born Sikandar Raza, restricted Pakistan to 129-8 for a stunning victory in a Super 12 thriller in Perth.

It was Pakistan’s second consecutive loss following their agonizing opening loss to archrivals India, who lead Group 2 with two wins from two matches.

Zimbabwe, who advanced to the Super 12 after advancing through the first round in Australia, are third behind South Africa.

Only the top two teams advance to the semifinals.

Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine remarked, “It’s very special, especially considering how hard we worked to get into the Super 12s, and we didn’t want our tournament to end there.”

We wanted to play excellent cricket against some of the best teams in the world, and I believe we did that incredibly well today.

Shan Masood, who scored 44 runs, and Shadab Khan pulled up a 52-run fourth-wicket partnership to put Pakistan’s chase on track.

Raza, though, broke the stand with Shadab’s dismissal and went on to be Pakistan’s major tormentor, returning scores of 3-25.

Raza, a finger spinner, then caught Haider Ali leg before on the next ball for no runs to be on a hat-trick, but Mohammad Nawaz prevented it.

Soon thereafter, Raza dismissed Masood (44 runs off 38 balls), while Nawaz attempted to score the final 11 runs off the final over, but was run out on the penultimate ball of the 20th over.

Needing three runs on the penultimate delivery, the new batsman Shaheen Shah Afridi ran one, but was run out while sprinting for the second as Zimbabwean players shouted in jubilation.

The best triumph

Raza, the man-of-the-match, told reporters, “This is the best triumph I’ve ever experienced with Zimbabwe.”

“This is the World Cup, the greatest platform, yet Pakistan was defeated by one run… We did all necessary to protect the tiny sum.”

Pakistan are sixth in the group and will face the Netherlands on Sunday at the same site in Perth.

To have any chance of advancing to the semifinals, they must win their remaining three matches and pray for favorable results elsewhere.

“To be honest, it’s difficult, but we have two days until the next match, so we will regroup and come back strong,” said captain Babar Azam.

Azam began Pakistan’s reply with a boundary after seven dots, but was quickly dismissed by Brad Evans to extend his poor tournament performance. He performed poorly against India.

Mohammad Rizwan smashed a four and a six before joining his partner in the dugout after nicking a delivery from the fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani onto his stumps.

When Luke Jongwe dismissed Iftikhar Ahmed for five with his medium-pace bowling, Pakistan were in trouble at 36-3; however, Masood and Shadab temporarily restored order.

Wesley Madhevere and Ervine utilised the pace of Pakistan’s seamers to their advantage by hitting a series of boundaries for 42 runs.

However, all-rounder Shadab’s 3-23 with his wrist spin and fast bowler Mohammad Wasim’s 4-24 limited Zimbabwe, whose Super 12 opener in Hobart was rained out, to what appeared to be a subpar score.

Zimbabwe lost four wickets — Sean Williams, Regis Chakabva, Raza, and Jongwe — on 95 runs before Evans pushed his team above the 120-run mark.

Williams led Zimbabwe in scoring with 31 runs off of 28 balls.

AFP

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