Raza lauds Zimbabwe character


Zimbabwe’s batting hero in their World Cup qualifier Super Sixes match against Ireland, Sikandar Raza admits he was downcast after his innings.

When he arrived in the changeroom he felt that he hadn’t squeezed out enough runs with the tailenders with Zimbabwe limping to 211 for 9 in their fifty overs in Harare.

Skipper Graeme Cremer however had faith that his charges would get the job done and it was faith well placed.

Zimbabwe would comfortably win the match by 107 runs as Ireland slumped to 104 all out.

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Raza said after the match: “When I got back to the change room, my head was down. But Cremer and everyone else came to me and said, no, Raz, that should be enough, we will back ourselves to get it.

A breathless Raza said at the post match presentation as he received his man of the match award: “We can’t let the country down.

“The way the boys came out … it’s the character and courage we had.”

Cremer was quick to pile praise on Raza for his unbeaten 69 describing him as a match-winner.

The Zimbabwe skipper said: “To bat with the tail like that wasn’t easy.

“I don’t have to motivate him. He wants to do well all the time. He loves performing on the big stage. He’s been a huge asset for us the last two years.”

Zimbabwe moved to the top of the Super Six group with the win currently occupying one of two spots that will be rewarded with a place in the 2019 World Cup.

The hosts can seal qualification for the 2019 showpiece if they can beat the West Indies on Monday.