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Raza masterclass as Zimbabwe smash Dutch in World Cup qualifier

ByTeam BB

Jun 20, 2023

NEW DELHI: Sikandar Raza showcased his exceptional skills as an all-rounder, leading Zimbabwe to a commanding six-wicket victory over the Netherlands in a Cricket World Cup Group A qualifier in Harare on Tuesday.
Raza began his outstanding performance by taking four crucial wickets against the Dutch team. He then proceeded to display his batting prowess, delivering an entertaining and unbeaten innings of 102 runs from just 54 balls. Notably, Raza’s century became the fastest ever hundred scored by a Zimbabwean player in one-day internationals.
Batting first, the Netherlands managed to post a competitive total of 315 runs for the loss of six wickets. Vikramjit Singh contributed with a solid knock of 88 runs, supported by skipper Scott Edwards who scored 83, and Max O’Dowd, who added 59 runs to the total. However, their efforts fell short in the face of Raza’s brilliant performance.

Saqib Zulfiqar chipped in with a run-a-ball 34 not out to boost the total off their allotted 50 overs at the Harare Sports Club.
Raza proved to be the pick of the bowlers, picking up four wickets for 55 runs off his 10 overs.
Zimbabwe’s run chase never seemed in doubt as Sean Williams hit a 58-ball 91 after openers Craig Ervine and Joylord Gumbie had contributed 50 and 40 runs respectively.
It was left to Raza to strike the winning runs, however, hoisting Logan van Beek over mid-off and into the stands for his eighth six in a spectacular display of power batting that had earlier seen him strike three consecutive sixes off Shariz Ahmad.
“I just wanted to go out there,” said the 37-year-old Pakistan-born all-rounder, who sealed victory with 55 balls remaining.

“The platform was already set, I just wanted to stay humble and respect every ball but it was there, I went for it.
“As long as we win the game, we are happy and we are happy for each other’s performance.”
Group A’s other match saw Nepal, who lost their opener to Zimbabwe, beat the United States by six wickets.
Karachi-born wicketkeeper Shayan Jahangir hit an unbeaten 100 to help the US team reach 207 all out off 49 overs after recovering from being 18 for four wickets.
Sushant Modani chipped in with 42 and Gajanand Singh 26, but the next best score was 12 and seven batsmen failed to make double digits as Karan Khatri Chhetri and Gulsan Jha shared seven wickets between them.
Bhim Sharki hit an unbeaten 77 while Kushal Bhurtel and Dipendra Singh Airee pitched in with 39 runs apiece as Nepal sealed the victory with ease, ending on 211/4 with 42 balls remaining.
It was a second defeat for the Americans after they went down to the West Indies in their opening game.
The action continues Wednesday, with Ireland facing Scotland and Oman taking on the United Arab Emirates in Group B matches at Bulawayo.
Only two of the 10 teams taking part in the three-week qualifier will make the World Cup to be played in India in October and November.
(With AFP Inputs)

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