The Chevrons’ Beautiful and Rollercoaster Ride to the Super 12 Stage of the T20 World Cup 2022


The Zimbabwe men’s cricket team made it past the first round of the T20 World Cup for the first time following a five wicket victory over Scotland in a low-scoring nail biting encounter in Hobart, Australia. 

zim national cricket team icc t20 world cup super 12
PIC: ZimCricket

The Chevrons’ route was not all plain-sailing, reminiscent of a rollercoaster ride. After a blistering and dominant thirty-one run win over Ireland in their opening encounter of the tournament, they risked not qualifying for the Super 12 in the second match as their batting let them down and fumbled a modest 154 run chase against West Indies.

Zimbabwe’s bowling unit had bowled brilliantly, restricting the much fancied two time T20 champions [Windies] to an achievable total.

The batters on the other hand struggled to cope against the Windies’ express pace courtesy of Alzarri Joseph, Jason Holder and Odean Smith as they were bowled out for 122. Joseph was named player of the match with his impressive figures of 4-16.

Sikandar Raza’s heroics continue

2022 in Zimbabwe cricket will be remembered as the year of Sikandar Raza with the all-rounder producing some top drawer performances as he has embraced a talismanic role for the Chevrons.

Going into the tournament in red hot form, he laid down the gauntlet in Zimbabwe’s first match with a match-winning 82 off 44 balls as he ensured a competitive total of 174-7 which proved insurmountable for the Irish.

In the final match against Scotland , a dithering start for the Chevrons was conspicuous as the Scots made in-roads top of the order and the Chevrons were reeling at 42-3 after 8 overs.

With the asking rate creeping towards nine an over, Sikandar Raza plundered a rapid 40 off 23 as they combined to a 66 run partnership with skipper Craig Ervine who anchored the chase as the pendulum swung back in the favour of Zimbabwe.

Currently, Raza is the leading run scorer in the 2022 T20 World Cup with 136 runs at an average of 45.33. His performances this year have been boldly breathtaking.

sikandar raza zimbabwe cricket t20 world cup super 12

His bowling has been outstanding as well with five wickets from three matches, with the best figures (3-19) coming in the second match against West Indies albeit in defeat.

Raza has matched Virat Kohli for the most man of match awards in a calendar year (6).

Top-Notch Bowling

Whilst the batting has left a lot to be desired in some instances over the course of the tournament, the bowling on the other hand has been spectacularly tremendous.

With some good swing up front in the form of Tendai Chatara and ferocious pace and bounce of Richard Ngarava and Blessing Muzarabani, the Zimbabwean bowling line-up has been unplayable at times.

Coupled with economic spinners in the middle overs as well as improved death bowling, the Chevrons have managed to restrict their opponents to relatively low scores by T20 standards, with the Windies getting the most runs out of this solid unit scoring 153.

Tendai Chatara bowled a tremendous spell against Scotland finishing with figures of 2-14 with an economy of under three an over crossing yet another milestone in the process with fifty wickets in T20I.

History makers and banishing the ghosts of United Arab Emirates, 2018

The qualification of Zimbabwe means more to the avid Chevron supporters as it finally banished the ghosts of UAE where the side bottled a relatively easy chase and as a result missed out on the 2019 ICC 50-Over World Cup.

That in turn meant Zimbabwe had never participated in an ICC event since 2016, missing out on three major international cricket tournaments in the process.

With Zimbabwe Cricket now associated with an endless hell-loop of disaster and heartache with its knack of grabbing losses from the jaws of victories, it came as breath of fresh air as the Chevrons managed to held their nerve and negotiate a successful run chase where it mattered the most.

The victory over Scotland means Zimbabwe have managed to make it past the first round of ICC T20 World Cup following five first round exits.

Credits of course to the new gaffer Dave Houghton who has ushered a new refreshing and confident approach; and has encouraged aggressively beautiful and positive cricket.

Special mention to the buoyant fans who formed their own ‘Castle Corner’ at the Hobart cricket ground as they spurred the team on.

Attention will be now shifted to the Super 12 where Zimbabwe will face South Africa, India, Pakistan, arch rivals Bangladesh and the Netherlands, with the top two proceeding to the semi-finals.

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