T20 World Cup: Ricky Ponting Inspires Zimbabwe’s Sikandar Raza as He Plots Pakistan’s Downfall

Words of motivation from the legendary Ricky Ponting inspired Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza as he played a key role in his side’s stunning one-run win over former champions Pakistan in the T20 World Cup on Thursday.

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Raza came up with yet another brilliant performance as he took three wickets for 25 runs from his quota of four overs to play a key role in the massive upset and grabbed his third man-of-the-match award. “One more thing I thought. There was a small clip sent to me this morning of Ricky Ponting having a small word. I was excited, I was nervous, I was thrilled about today,” Raza said at the post-match presentation.

“The motivation was always there but if I needed a little push, I thought that clip did a wonder so thanks very much to Ricky as well.” Overcome with emotions, the Pakistan-born Raza was at loss of words.

“I think I’m lost for words. My throat’s dry, probably because of all the emotions. I can’t tell you how proud I am of this bunch of boys,” Raza said.

“The way our seamers started at the top as well is just unbelievable and the way we backed it up in the field and the way we kept believing, I don’t think there’s any words I can share right now.” Asked about the wrist tapping signal he sent to his captain Craig Ervine, Raza said, “When we were coming to Australia, I said to my captain, ‘If you become Man of the Match, pick any watch from the catalogue and I’ll buy you. But if I win Man of the Match, then you’re gonna buy me one.

“So I’m just reminding him that you now owe me three watches now actually.” Zimbabwe captain Ervine termed the win as a special one.

“Especially for the work that we did to get into the Super 12s and we didn’t want our tournament to end there. We wanted to come in and play some really good cricket against some top teams.

“We did that exceptionally well today. I thought after our batting performance, we thought that we were maybe 20 or 25 short. But our seamers hit their straps early on and there was just a little bit more in the wicket compared to when we started off,” Ervine said.

On Raza, he said, “He came to the party as he always does and picked up a few crucial wickets in the middle there.

“I think he’s got three Man of the Matches so I’m gonna be broke by the time we get home.” A disappointed Pakistan captain Babar Azam said his team’s batting department was not up to the mark.

“We had a bad first six overs, but Shadab (Khan) and Shan (Masood) built a partnership but unfortunately Shadab got out and then back to back wickets and pressure built on the batting,” he said.

“First six overs we are not using the new ball good. Later on, we finished well. We’ll sit together and learn from our mistakes and come back hard next match.”

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