Sikandar Raza Stars in Shock Turnaround Victory

For all those who don’t know, the ICC World Cup 2019 qualifiers have begun, with 10 associate member teams battling for the top 2 spots up for grabs, that will join the top 8 teams at the 2019 ICC World Cup. We already had some thrilling games ,including the shock result of Scotland beating Afghanistan in their opening game.

Today, we had 4 more matches in Round 2 of the qualifiers. Scotland recorded their second win after breezing past Hong Kong while West Indies crushed the UAE and Ireland narrowly got over the line against Papua New Guinea. However, the highlight of this round was the game between Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, the two of who just finished a bilateral series before the qualifiers began.

The bilateral series was dominated by Afghanistan and they did the same thing again here, for most of the game. After bowling out Zimbabwe for 196, they were well on course to win this game, but had a huge collapse, falling from 156/3 to 177/9. Shocking, yeah? But that’s how the game of cricket works sometimes.


While they were a lot of important contributions by players from both sides, the performance by our man Sikandar Raza was one that couldn’t go unnoticed. He came in to bat at a tough time when Zimbabwe was struggling at 66/4, and put together a brilliant partnership with Brendan Taylor as he did in their last game as well. He played a vital knock of 60(68) and then started the turnaround with the ball as well, picking up 3/40 in his ten overs.

Let’s not forget that this wasn’t a one-time show by this man. Sikandar Raza has been improving by leaps and bounds as an all-rounder over the last year and more, and scored a blistering knock of 123 7 fours, 9 sixes) in their first qualifier against Nepal, only to follow it up with 3 wickets as well. His performances so far in the ICC 2019 World Cup qualifiers:

  • vs Nepal: 123(66), 3/48
  • vs Afghanistan: 60(68), 3/40

The last pair for Afghanistan then needed 20 runs for the last wicket to pull off a win which should’ve been done quite earlier, and without any problem. It was a thrilling contest, as the two took their time and scored one run at a time, eventually needing just 4 runs in the last 6 balls. The suspense finally ended with Brian Vitori picking up the final wicket and Zimbabwe winning by 2 runs. Well played Sikandar Raza!

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About Dwayne Fernandes 464 Articles
Indian. 23. Management Graduate. Huge cricket fan. Twitter and Instagram - @dwayneeeboy


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