ICC T20 World Cup: Zimbabwe upset Pakistan

Zimbabwe, who looked dead and buried until recently, gathered a good bunch of spirited young bowlers who are hungry to win. This squad of Zimbabwe wants to make a mark and bring back the late 90's memories of a team that had spirited cricketers who gave all big teams run for their money.

Zimbabwe upsets Pakistan in low scoring game
Zimbabwe upsets Pakistan in low scoring game

ICC T20 World Cup is already turning out to be the most sensational tournament that ICC has come up in recent years. Associate Nations have been proving that they no longer wish to be bench-warmers and T20 Cricket has given them opportunity to compete big time. As the game needs players to concentrate and give their best in the fixed amount of time, T20 Cricket seems to be helping new nations to really better themselves.

Zimbabwe, who looked dead and buried until recently, gathered a good bunch of spirited young bowlers who are hungry to win. This squad of Zimbabwe wants to make a mark and bring back the late 90’s memories of a team that had spirited cricketers who gave all big teams run for their money.

Mohammad Wasim restricted Zimbabwe to 130 runs in middle overs
Mohammad Wasim restricted Zimbabwe to 130 runs in middle overs

Pakistan and Zimbabwe played each other on 27th October, third match of the day and Group 2. Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bat first. Openers Wessly Madhevere (17) and Craig Ervine (19) looked to be aggressive from the word go against wayward Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah. But they couldn’t build a huge partnership as Haris Rauf sent Ervine back with 42 runs on board in 5th over. Haris Rauf bowled very well in his 4 overs and gave away just 12 runs with a maiden over. Sean Williams (31) and Brad Evans (19) could only take the innings to respectable 130/8 in 20 overs as Mohammad Wasim (4/24) and Shadab Khan (3/23) kept chipping away the wickets.

Sikander Raza turned the match with his spirited bowling
Sikander Raza turned the match with his spirited bowling

Zimbabwe bowlers had to defend 130 runs target and they bowled with all their heart against famed Pakistan openers Mohammad Rizwan (14) and Babar Azam (4). Both of them failed but Shan Masood and Shadab Khan (17) with 52 runs partnership looked like taking Pak home. At 88/3, Sikander Raza decided to script history and sent Shadab Khan, Haider Ali back to hut in consecutive balls. Pakistan batsmen felt the pressure and Raza removed Shan Masood (44) as well with a sharp, quick stumping work by wicket keeper Regis Chakabva. Mohammad Nawaz (22) and Mohammad Wasim (12) tried their best to take Pakistan over the line.

Shan Masood tried his best to win it for Pakistan
Shan Masood tried his best to win it for Pakistan

Last Over Drama:

Brad Evans had to defend 11 runs from 6 balls. To avoid a tie, he needed to restrict Pakistan under 10 runs and secure win. Young bowler gave away 3 runs in his first ball and Nawaz sent next ball to a four. It looked almost improbable for Zimbabwe to win. Evans gave away just one run and bowled a dot ball in next two. Pakistan needed 3 from 2 to win.

Mohammad Nawaz decided to go over the in-field and mid-on but failed to connect properly a back of length delivery. Ervine did not make any mistake sending Nawaz back. With 3 runs from 1 ball to get, Shaheen Shah Afridi played straight and Sikander Raza aimed for the stricker’s end to record a famous one run win for Zimbabwe against Pakistan in a World Cup game.

Brad Evans overjoyed after defending 11 runs in last over
Brad Evans overjoyed after defending 11 runs in last over

With this win, Zimbabwe has become a contender for Semi-Final spot from Group 2 and South Africa are also on 3 points like them. In fact, India is the only team to have played both the games complete and win them, in this initial round of matches. Well, ICC T20 World Cup is really shaping up well beyond expectations.

India thrashed Netherlands and secured two clean wins. Read here.