Mehluli Sibanda, Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE Cricket chairman, Tavengwa Mukuhlani has congratulated the country’s senior national cricket team for the win over Pakistan in the third One Day International in Rawalpindi on Tuesday.
Victory was secured in the Super Over where some brilliant bowling by man of the match Blessing Muzarabani, who followed up his maiden five-wicket haul in the Pakistan run chase with two wickets in four balls in the one over eliminator, which left Zimbabwe requiring just three runs to win. Brendan Taylor and Sikandar Raza had no problems wiping off the needed runs for the historic win.
Earlier on, Sean Williams scored 118 and 56 came off the bat of Brendan Taylor for Zimbabwe to post a competitive 278/6 in 50 overs.
There has been an outpouring of love for the Chevrons, with President Emmerson Mnangagwa taking to microblogging and social networking service Twitter to congratulate the boys for the win over Pakistan.
Mukuhlani, who is with the team in Pakistan said the win was crucial in that it gave Zimbabweans something to be happy about and it is a continuation of the team building process.
“Congratulations to the boys, what a game, what a win. Great fighting spirit from Pakistan. We needed this as a nation to put smiles on our fans. The rebuilding of the team continues,’’ said Mukuhlani.
Zimbabwe’s star batsman Taylor was delighted with the win and the backing they have been getting on their tour of Pakistan.
“What a fantastic feeling getting over the line today. We gave our country something to smile about today and that’s why we wear our colours with immense pride. Thank you to all who sent kind messages of support over the last few days,’’ posted Taylor.
Another senior player Raza is proud to have been part of a group that made history by recording the first win by Zimbabwe on Pakistan soil since 1998.
“These bunch of lads made history today and we all are extremely delighted, humbled and proud of it, 22 years later a win for @ZimCricketv on the Pakistan soil and that’s why we play this beautiful sport, for moment like these,’’ said Raza.
Zimbabwe’s Super Over win in the final ODI helped them gain 10 points while Pakistan got 20 points, remaining ahead of Australia on net run rate. England lead with 30 points after playing two series of the Super League, introduced to bring context to ODI cricket and to decide the seven direct qualifiers for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 along with hosts India.
Williams and Taylor have advanced among batters after slamming fine centuries in the series. Taylor has progressed nine slots to 42nd position after scoring 204 runs including a knock of 112 in the first match. Williams has advanced 12 places to 46th position with 197 runs including an unbeaten 118 in the final match. Among bowlers, Sikandar Raza has moved up to 66th place and Donald Tiripano to 90th.
The two teams now shift focus to the shorter format of the game with the three Twenty20 Internationals set for 7, 8 and 10 November at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.