Zimbabwe made a big upset, beat Pakistan by one run

Zimbabwe, performing better than their stature at the international level, turned the tables on Pakistan by defeating Pakistan by one run in a thrilling T20 World Cup match here on Thursday. Zimbabwe defended the target of 131 runs well and the Pakistani batsmen took wickets at frequent intervals to allow the opposition team to score 129 runs for eight wickets. Pakistan-born all-rounder Sikandar Raza changed the course of the match in the middle overs, taking three for 25 in his four overs which included the wickets of Shan Masood (44 runs), Shadab Khan (17 runs) and Haider Ali.

Right-arm pacer Brad Evans took two for 25, while Blessing Mujarbani (1 for 18) and Luke Jongwe (1 for 10) also took wickets to give their team an upset victory. This is Pakistan’s second defeat in two matches, having lost to arch-rivals India by four wickets in another thrilling encounter. This is Zimbabwe’s first win in two matches. This African team had distributed points in the match against South Africa that was canceled due to rain.

For the second time in the tournament, Pakistan’s star batsmen Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan failed to get off to a good start. Evans dismissed skipper Babar at full length. At the same time, Iftikhar Ahmed, who scored a half-century against India, could not stay at the crease for long, due to which Pakistan’s score was 36 for three in 7.4 overs. But Shan Masood stood at one end and he, along with Shadab Khan, put up a 52-run stand for the fourth wicket to lead Pakistan’s innings.

Leg-spinner all-rounder Raza took three wickets in a row to bring Zimbabwe back into the match, taking two wickets in the 14th over. Pakistan’s score became 94 for six in 15.1 overs. Nawaz (22 runs) along with Wasim kept Pakistan in the race. With this, the team needed 11 runs in the last over. Nawaz scored three runs and then sent a slow delivery from Evans for a four. But Evans made a brilliant comeback and took Nawaz’s wicket off the fifth ball of the final over, leaving three runs to be scored off the last ball.

Shaheen Shah Afridi was run out on the last ball and the score was leveled, leading Zimbabwe to win. Earlier, Pakistan pacer Mohammad Wasim (4 for 24) put on his best performance in T20Is as he and spinner Shadab allowed Zimbabwe to score 130 for eight. Wasim was the most successful bowler, he and Shadab Khan (3 for 23) together dismissed seven players.

This spoiled the momentum of Zimbabwe, which had started well. Harris Rauf also gave his best economical performance in T20 bowling, conceding 12 runs in four overs with a maiden and a wicket. Zimbabwe got off to a good start with captain Craig Irwin (19 runs) and Wesley Madhevere (17 runs) adding 42 runs for the first wicket. The partnership came to an end by Rauf when his fast delivery was caught by Irwin at short fine leg to Mohammad Wasim.

Two balls later, Madhevere also reached the pavilion, who was dismissed leg before by Wasim, whose review was taken by this batsman which was unsuccessful. Milton Shumba (08) also could not help his team and got caught by Shadab on his own ball. Sean Williams (31 runs) and Sikandar Raza (09) added 31 runs for the fourth wicket that Shadab gave a double blow in the 14th over. Due to this, Zimbabwe’s team lost its momentum after a good start.

Shadab first dismissed Williams and then Regis Chakabwa. In the next over, Wasim also gave double blows to Zimbabwe. Raza again failed to repeat his form in the qualifier and then Luke Jongwe was also bowled off the next ball. Brad Evans made 19 off 15 balls and Ryan Burle remained unbeaten on 10.

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