World Cup Qualifying | Raza’s hat trick saves the day Zim defeated West Indies by 35 runs
World Cup Qualifying | Raza’s hat trick saves the day Zim defeated West Indies by 35 runs

Zimbabwe defeated West Indies by 35 runs in their group A encounter in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 on Saturday in Harare, thanks in large part to SikandarRaza’s superb all-round performance (68 off 58 and 2/36).

JoylordGumbie and Criag Ervine made quick work of the new ball to set WI back on the path to defeat, but a predictable collapse of 3 for 27 sent Zimbabwe back to rebuilding, which they did well thanks to Player of the Match Raza.


After Brandon King and Kyle Mayers got their team off to a great start, Zimbabwe came back with two quick wickets in the opening 10 overs. West Indies seemed to have the upper hand in the opening powerplay after scoring 14 runs in the third over against TendaiChatara.

Blessing Muzarabani, though, was successful in his first over, dismissing King for 20. In the 10th over, Zimbabwe’s second victory occurred when left-arm bowler Richard Ngrava dismissed Johnson Charles. The final ball may have been another run out, but the fielder dropped the ball. At 55-2 after the first man advantage, it was anyone’s game.

Zimbabwe’s disciplined bowling upped the pressure on Shai Hope and Mayers, who managed just eight runs in the overs 11 through 14. Mayers, though, rescued West Indies with a hat trick of fours in the 15th over.

With a vital third wicket partnership of 64 from 67, West Indies were able to cross the century mark. The next triumph for Craig Ervine’s men came courtesy of Wellington Masakadza, who took out Mayers for 56 in the 21st over. At number five, Nicholas Pooran entered in his usual rambling fashion. He started out strong by setting three separate limits.

Any hopes of another game-changing Hope-Pooran stand were dashed in the 24th over when the magical SikandarRaza dismissed Hope for a duck. After being dismissed in the 32nd over, Pooran (34) put up a patient 41-run partnership with Roston Chase. Muzarabani dismissed Rovman Powell in the following over, giving Zimbabwe the lead.

Zimbabwe’s bowlers were unrelenting once they got a foothold in the West Indies’ back order. While Raza contributed two more wickets to another outstanding batting effort, Richard Ngrava stole the show by taking the wickets of Charles and Pooran. Chatara made a remarkable recovery from a slow start to end at 3/52.

Even though the West Indies struck hard early on, Zimbabwe was able to post a decent total of 268-10 thanks to a key 87-run partnership between SikandarRaza and Ryan Burl.

Neither team was able to take an advantage in the opening powerplay, with West Indies losing a wicket and Zimbabwe scoring less than four runs per over. The West Indies went through the powerplay without losing a wicket for the first time in 10 ODIs.

West Indies maintained their sharpness on the pitch, and despite Zimbabwe’s subsequent improvement in scoring rate, they were able to keep their advantage. In the 16th over, Keemo Paul got JoylordGumbie (26) lbw. WesslyMadhevere (2) was then captured by AkealHosein at mid-on.



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