Zimpapers Sport

ZIMBABWE’S over-reliance on the batting of captain Sikandar Raza was cruelly exposed in the just ended five-match T20 International series against hosts, Bangladesh.

An eight-wicket win, with nine balls to spare in the final game yesterday, ensured that Zimbabwe put something on the board and avoided a humiliating series whitewash.

Zimbabwe’s consolation victory coincided with the first match Raza scored runs.

 The Chevrons’ T20I skipper flopped in the opening four matches and Zimbabwe found themselves starring a series whitewash going into yesterday’s match.

All four defeats were a result of Zimbabwe batsmen, especially Raza and the top order, failing to score runs.

When Raza got it right, Zimbabwe lost just two wickets chasing 158.

After winning the toss, Raza sent Bangladesh to bat and the hosts made 157/6 off their 20 overs with a top score of 54 from Mohammad Mahmudullah while Bennett claimed two wickets for 20 in three overs and Blessing Muzarabani taking two for 22 in four overs.

In reply, Zimbabwe lost Tadiwanashe Marumani for one in the fifth over.

Raza was unbeaten on 72 runs off 46 balls when victory was achieved while opener Brian Bennett was named player-of-the-match for 70 runs in 49 balls with the bat and the two wickets for 20 with the ball.

Raza and Bennett featured in a 75-run partnership for the second wicket while the skipper and Jonathan Campbell were unbeaten on 45 in a third wicket stand when victory was achieved.

Bennett believes yesterday’s victory should be a good foundation for the future as a number of young players join the Chevrons.

“Very grateful for today. We came close in the last game but I am really happy for the team to go back with a victory, obviously not what you want from the series but a good effort from the team today. 

“We have been backed and supported by the coaching staff. We have few youngsters in the team so I think we still have some time so let’s see what happens in the future,” he said.

Raza was relieved to have finally found a solution to the batting nightmare.  

“It’s nice to go home with a win. Like we said in the last three games we were working our way closer and closer to the victory margin. It’s nice to contribute. In the last presentation I came here and said the only jigsaw puzzle that’s missing is me scoring runs. 

“If I can contribute towards the success of the team it will give me immense pleasure. And today is one of those days. It’s always nice to contribute towards the winning of the side. When we were losing on those little margins, I thought that was on me.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *