Sikandar Raza stars as Zimbabwe moves to 3-0 and hands West Indies first loss at ICC World Cup Qualifiers

By June 24, 2023
Sikandar Raza celebrating the wicket of Shai Hope. Sikandar Raza celebrating the wicket of Shai Hope.

All-rounder Sikandar Raza was, once again, the star of the show as hosts Zimbabwe beat the West Indies by 35 runs to move to 3-0 in the ICC World Cup Qualifiers and hand the West Indies their first loss in six ODIs.

The hosts posted 268 all out from their 50 overs after the West Indies won the toss and elected to field first at the Harare Sports Club.

After a 63-run opening stand between Joylord Gumbie and Captain, Craig Ervine, Zimbabwe quickly lost four wickets for 49 runs to be reeling at 112-4 at the halfway point of their innings.

Half centuries from Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl then rescued Zimbabwe from what looked to be a spot of bother.

Raza, coming off a century against the Netherlands in their last game, led the way with a 58-ball 68 including six fours and two sixes while Burl made an even 50 off 57 balls including five fours and a six.

Earlier, Ervine made 47 while Gumbie scored 26.

The Zimbabweans were helped by the West Indies dropping five catches. Raza was dropped three times.

Keemo Paul led the way with the ball for the West Indians with 3-61 from his 10 overs while Akeal Hosein and Alzarri Joseph both took a pair of wickets, each.

The West Indies then started their chase relatively well with openers Brandon King and Kyle Mayers putting on 43 for the first wicket in just six and a half overs before King was dismissed for a rapid 20.

Johnson Charles fell soon after for just one before Captain, Shai Hope, joined Mayers at the crease.

The pair put on a further 64 before Mayers fell in the 21st over for 56.

Nicholas Pooran joined Hope at the wicket and the two centurions from the last game plotted to continue from where they left off in the last game.

That was not the case, however, as Hope fell for 30 just three overs into their partnership.

Pooran (34) and Rovman Powell (1) then fell in quick succession to leave the West Indies 180-6 in the 33rd over.

Jason Holder then came to join Roston Chase, who was batting well in the midst of the carnage at the other end, and the pair looked comfortable, adding a further 37 runs before Holder fell for 19 in the 41st over.

Keemo Paul then came and went for just one before Chase’s resistance was ended for 44 to leave the West Indies on the brink at 224-9 in the 43rd over.

With the score on 233 in the 45th over, Alzarri Joseph chipped a ball to Sikandar Raza at short mid-wicket to confirm the 35-run win for Zimbabwe.

Tendai Chatara led the way with the ball with 3-52 off 9.4 overs while Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava and Sikandar Raza all took two wickets, each.

Both teams have already advanced to the Super 6 stage. Zimbabwe will play the USA in their last group game on Monday while, on the same day, the West Indies will face the Netherlands.

Bradley Jacks

Bradley Jacks is a budding journalist and an avid sports fan. His love of research and sports has led him to SportsMax.tv, a place where those passions work hand in hand to allow him to produce content.

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