After Ireland stunned England, it was Zimbabwe who upset the apple cart as Pakistan fell to their second straight loss in the ongoing World Cup. The Zimbabwe team broke into celebrations as they pulled off a massive upset in the T20 World Cup. With just 130 on the board, the Zimbabwe bowlers put up a clinical show as they walked away as winners in Perth.
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After electing to bat, Zimbabwe got off to a flying start as they hammered Shaheen Shah Afridi for 14 in the opening over. The openers put up a quickfire 42 off 30 for the opening stand, before Haris Rauf handed Pakistan the breakthrough. Rauf put the brakes on Zimbabwe as he removed skipper Craige Ervine after a 19-ball 20.
It looked like the match was turning as Wasim who picked up Ervine’s catch, picked up a wicket in the very next over to end Wessly Madhevere’s (17 off 13) solid knock. Wasim and Rizwan convinced skipper Azam to appeal and it was a successful review that saw Zimbabwe lose their second wicket. After the flying start, the two quick wickets, saw Zimbabwe post 47/2 in the powerplay.
After the flying start, Pak bounced back into the game as Zimbabwe posted 67/3 in the first ten overs. Williams and Sikandar Raza attempted to rebuild the innings, adding 31 off 25 for the fourth wicket. But just as the duo looked to settle in, Shadab struck as Zimbabwe lost a flurry of wickets. From 95/3 in 13.4 overs, Zimbabwe lost four quick wickets as they were reduced to 95/7 in 14.4 overs, with Shadab and Wasim, both pocketing two back-to-back wickets.
Zimbabwe never found their way back as Pakistan restricted them to 130/8. After the flying start, posting 47 for 2 in the powerplay, the Pakistan bowlers ripped through the Zimbabwe middle-order to restrict them to a low total.
In reply, Pakistan got off on the wrong foot as Zimbabwe took early control reducing Pak to 23/3 in 4.4 overs. With both openers falling cheaply. Shadab and Shan Masood rebuild the innings with a 36-ball 52 run partnership for the fourth wicket. But Zimbabwe weren’t done yet as Sikandar Raza picked up back-to-back wickets, removing Shadab (17 off 14) and Haider Ali for a duck.
Raza then went onto to remove the set Shan Masood (44 off 38) to keep the stranglehold on Pakistan. Player of the match Raza, paved the way for Zimbabwe’s thrilling 1 run win with a three-wicket haul.
Another last-over thriller was played out in the T20 World Cup. Needing 11 off the final over, the last six balls saw it all. A boundary, a wicket, in the end, even though wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva fumbled to take the bails off, Zimbabwe pulled off a thrilling 1 run win to stun Pakistan in Perth.
Here are the post-match comments, player of the match, full list of awards from the post-match presentation ceremony of the Zimbabwe vs Pakistan Super 12 match in Perth:
Player of the Match: Sikandar Raza
Sikandar Raza (ZIM): I’m lost for words. My throat’s dry, probably because of all the emotions. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this bunch of boys. The way our seamers started at the top as well is just unbelievable and the way we backed it up in the field and the way we kept believing, I don’t think there’s any words I can share right now. (On wrist tapping signal) When we were coming to Australia, I said to my captain, ‘If you become Man of the Match, pick any watch from the catalogue and I’ll buy you. But if I win Man of the Match, then you’re gonna buy me one. So I’m just reminding him that you now owe me three watches now actually. One more thing I thought. There was a small clip sent to me this morning of Ricky Ponting having a small word. I was excited, I was nervous, I was thrilled about today. The motivation was always there but if I needed a little push, I thought that clip did a wonder so thanks very much to Ricky!
Babar Azam (Pak), Losing Captain: Definitely, very disappointing performance in my team. We weren’t upto the mark in the batting. Unfortunately we got out in the first six overs. Shadab and Shan built a partnership but unfortunately back-to-back wickets always build pressure. First six overs we didn’t use the new ball well. But later on we finised well. We were ten runs short. We’ll sit together and discuss our mistakes and come together in the next match.
Craig Ervine (Zim), Captain: It’s so special. The work that we did to get into the Super 12. We didn’t want out tournament to end there. We wanted to come in and play good cricket against top teams and proud we did that today. We did exceptionally well today. I though 130 was maybe 20-25 short. But our seamers hit the straps early on. Raza came to the party and picked up crucial wickets in the middle. (On promising Raza) I think he’s got three Man of the Matches. I’m going to be broke by the time I get home. I just want to say thank you to the supporters who came in today. You guys really lift our spirits whereever we go.