Sikandar Raza smashed his highest score in the shortest format and set up a comprehensive 31-run victory for Zimbabwe in their opening match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup against Ireland on Monday, October 17.
With his knock of 48-ball 82, Raza created history by registering the highest-ever score by a Zimbabwe batter in a T20 World Cup game. Previously, the record was held by former Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor who scored 60 off 45 balls against Australia at the 2007 T20 World Cup. In that match, Zimbabwe defeated Australia by 5 wickets which was a big upset.
The hero of Zimbabwe, What a player, he is the man for any moment, Sikandar Raza. pic.twitter.com/GGoTiYG79Z
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) October 17, 2022
Zimbabwe, playing in their first T20 World Cup game after 2016, made a winning comeback to the multi-team ICC event. After Raza guided Zimbabwe to a competitive 174/7 on the board, Blessing Muzarabani (3-24), Tendai Chatara (2-22) and Richard Ngarava (2-22) bowled beautifully in their respective four overs to restrict the Irish side on 143/9.
— Brendan Taylor (@BrendanTaylor86) October 17, 2022
— Alan Butcher (@abutch58) October 17, 2022
“We are ecstatic. To put up a performance like that first game, it shows that we do belong here,” an elated Zimbabwe skipper Craig Ervine said in the post-match presentation.
“It’s a pity that it has been a long way since we have played a World Cup,” he added.
Brief Scores: Zimbabwe 174/8 in 20 overs (Sikandar Raza 84, Luke Jongwe 20; Joshua Little 3-24) beat Ireland 143/9 in 20 overs (Curtis Campher 27, George Dockrell 24, Gareth Delany 24; Blessing Muzarabani 3-23, Richard Ngarava 2-22, Tendai Chatara 2-22) by 31 runs.