Raza guides Zimbabwe to series leveling win against Namibia

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Sikandar Raza

Sikandar Raza played a spectacular knock of 82 of 35 balls to inspire Zimbabwe to a five-wicket victory against Namibia in the second T20I of the five-match series at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek on Wednesday.

Raza’s memorable match-winning innings which was laced with three fours and nine sixes fired Zimbabwe to 200 for five in their 20 overs after Namibia had earlier posted a competitive 198 for three in their allotted overs.t

It was a timely response by Raza and the Zimbabwe side, who were completely outplayed in the first T20I which they meekly lost by seven wickets after posting a paltry 121 runs following the decision to bat first.

“That is what is expected of us anyway,” Raza said after the match. “Winning and losing is part of the game, but we always need to put our best foot forward, if the opposition plays well credit to them, but always need to give your best.”

After being put in to bat first, Namibia appeared on course for another dominant win following an opening stand of 108 runs between openers Michael van Lingen and Nikolaas Davin with the former leading the charge with a blazing 67 off 37 balls, featuring 10 fours and 3 towering sixes.

Niko Davin provided solid support, contributing 60 runs off 44 deliveries, which included 6 fours and 2 sixes.

Gerhard Erasmus chipped in with a quick 38 off 28 balls, and Jonathan Smit provided fireworks at the end, smashing 25 runs off just 11 balls as the hosts posted a competitive 198/3 in their allotted 20 overs.

Zimbabwe levelled the series at 1-1 ahead of the third T20I in Windhoek on Friday

Zimbabwe’s bowling attack had a challenging time, with Tendai Chatara being the most successful, taking one wicket for 31 runs while Ainsley Ndlovu was the most economical bowler despite going wicket-less in his four overs, where he conceded 27 runs.

In response, Zimbabwe lost three wickets inside the first 10 overs with just 77 runs on the board and despite being behind for long periods in the innings, they showed tremendous fighting spirit on their way to reaching the target of 199 with five wickets in hand, ultimately winning the match.

Raza was the hero for Zimbabwe as he stole the limelight with another spellbinding performance with the bat.

Other key contributions came from Innocent Kaia (37 runs off 30 balls) and opener Nick Welch, who bounced back from his duck on debut to score 25 off 19 deliveries.

There was also another notable innings by Wesley Madhevere, who chipped in with a crucial cameo knock of 23 from just 12 deliveries which ensured that Zimbabwe stayed in the hunt.

Although Zimbabwe lost wickets regularly, they managed to cross the finish line, thanks to Raza’s batting masterclass.

The two sides meet again in the third T20I match at the same venue on Friday.

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