Raza displays brilliance with bat and ball as Zimbabwe thrash Rwanda by 144 runs


WINDHOEK, Namibia – Zimbabwe cruised to a 144-run victory over Rwanda in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier Africa Final 2023 at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek on Monday. Sikandar Raza was the star of the show, scoring a blistering 58 and taking a hat-trick.

Zimbabwe T20 World Cup Qualifier Namibia
Image: Zimbabwe Cricket

Opening the batting, Raza's aggressive 58 off 36 balls set the tone for Zimbabwe's innings. This unorthodox move to the top of the order harks back to Raza's early days in Zimbabwean cricket. 

His innings featured four sixes and six fours, propelling Zimbabwe to 99 for one in the 10th over. Partner Tadiwanashe Marumani equally impressed, reaching his fifty before departing with exactly that score.

The Zimbabwean lower-order displayed brutal hitting, as Nick Welch added 18 off 15 balls, and Sean Williams contributed 22 off 14. The onslaught continued in the final two overs, with Ryan Burl achieving 44 off 21 balls, including three sixes and five fours; and Luke Jongwe contributing 17 off just four balls, dispatching two sixes and a four.

Rwanda faced an uphill battle from the start, losing five wickets in the first six overs, with Richard Ngarava making early inroads. Despite some spirited hitting from Rwanda's wicket-keeper Didier Ndikubwimana (30 off 34 balls) and Martin Akayezu (17 off 22), their innings concluded swiftly as Raza showcased an exceptional hat-trick. 

Raza's final bowling figures stood at three wickets for three runs in 2.4 overs, complemented by Ngarava's three wickets for 11. 

Burl, instrumental with bat and ball, demonstrated an excellent all-round performance, delivering a very economical four overs, securing two wickets for seven runs.

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