Raza stars again as Zimbabwe stun West Indies in Cricket World Cup Qualifier

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Harare – Sikandar Raza had a stellar day in the field as Zimbabwe stunned West Indies by 35 runs in a crucial Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Harare on Saturday.

Both teams advanced to the next Super Sixes round. But Zimbabwe now have the advantage of taking the two points from Saturday’s win with them into the next stage which features the top three sides from the two groups of five.

The points carried forward are crucial as the top two teams from the Super Sixes stage will qualify for the main tournament in India in October-November.

Sikandar Raza celebrates after taking a wicket during Zimbabwe’s match against West Indies on Saturday

The hosts made 268 batting first with all-rounder Raza top scoring with 68 from 58 balls, hitting six fours and two sixes.

Ryan Burl added a crucial 50 with five fours and a six after Zimbabwe were 112-4 at one stage. Captain Craig Ervine made 47 at the top of the order to give impetus to the innings.

The target was big enough to keep Zimbabwe bowlers interested. And they put in a superb effort.

West Indies were well-placed at 134-3 before they lost seven wickets for just 99 runs.

Opener Kyle Mayers top scored with 56 off 72 balls featuring eight fours and a six. In the middle order, captain Shai Hope (30), Nicolas Pooran (34) and Roston Chase (44) all got starts but Tendai Chatara (3-52) and man of the match Raza (2-36 and two catches) applied the brakes as the West Indies were dismissed for 233 in the 45th over.

“We did feel that we were maybe 20-30 short of what would probably be a winning score,” Ervine was quoted as saying by AFP.

“It is always going to be tough mentally. We have talked about treating every game and opposition the same. Today has been quite an emotional day for everybody and it is not a long time before we have to come back and play again on Monday.”

His counterpart Hope said that that fielding let them down.

“Too much is on my mind right now, not sure if I can explain it. Lot of hurting and very disappointed but the tournament is not over yet,” said Hope.

“We have to make sure we harden ourselves and understand what we have to do moving forward.”

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