Raza: An amazing feeling to be part of history


Zimbabwe allrounder Sikandar Raza says there are no words to describe how he and his team felt after they clinched an historic ODI series victory in Sri Lanka on Monday.

The five-match series came down to the final game with the scoreline locked at 2-2 and the home team were favourites to take the honours especially considering the fact that the African side had never won a series in Sri Lanka.

Zimbabwe also went eight years without winning a bilateral series away from home but they put all that aside and won the deciding game by three wickets in Hambantota.

It was a tense finale as Zimbabwe were chasing a low total of 204 but the pressure told on some as they lost wickets after getting a good start from their openers.

Raza though stood tall. After taking three wickets in the first innings, the Pakistan-born player held his nerve to guide his team over line with a precious unbeaten 27.

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The visitors got off to an amazing start in the series when they became the first team ever to chase down a total of more than 300 in an ODI in Sri Lanka and, according to Raza, that was just what the team needed to get going.

In an exclusive interview with ESPNCricinfo, Raza said: “It was just 27 runs but a mate told me this was the most useful and important 27 runs of your career and ours.

“There was history in the making. It is an incredible feeling to be able to do that. It is difficult to describe the feeling. No one has words to explain how we feel. It is just an amazing feeling.

“I think the first game here – the record chase – was the start of many good things to come. The first game played a huge role in believing we can win games from any situation.”

The two sides will now compete in a one-off Test match starting in Colombo on Friday and the 31-year-old Raza hopes their ODI success gives them the belief that they can achieve bigger and better things.

Zimbabwe will also host West Indies later this year and will take massive confidence into that series.

Raza continued: “This series should give us belief, and rightly so. To beat Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka is something not many teams have been able to do.

“The next target is to play a good Test match against them as well.

“We know West Indies are coming to play two Tests in October, so we are looking forward to that as well.”