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Sikandar Raza

‘Magical’ – Sikandar Raza revels in Sylhet Test high

Zimbabwe news

Zimbabwe hadn’t won a Test match since September 2013, when they beat Pakistan at home, till the 151-run victory over Bangladesh in the first Test of the ongoing series.

Zimbabwe found their heroes when they needed them. Hamilton Masakadza and Sean Williams with the bat, Tendai Chatara and Brandon Mavuta with the ball, and Sikandar Raza, who contributed more with ball than bat but gets top honours for all-round enthusiasm and spirit.

Raza had vocalised his disappointment at Zimbabwe missing out on a spot at the ICC Men’s World Cup 2019 and was subsequently out of international action for a while. But he’s back, and the 32-year-old all-rounder is in a celebratory mood after being a part of one of Zimbabwe’s great wins in recent times.

For a Zimbabwe team that does not play too much Test cricket – we last played almost a year ago – to beat them by 151 runs it is just magical

“This victory speaks volumes of our character, courage that all the boys have showed out there,” said Raza, who scored 19 and 25 and returned 3/35 and 3/41 with his off-spin.

“Some people may still be – and I am one of them – living in the nightmares of the (World Cup) qualifiers but this will take the edge off them. The highest format is Test cricket and for all those people who have been supporting Zimbabwe through and through, this is a reward that maybe we can give to them to move forward and thank them for their continued support.”

Zimbabwe recorded their first Test victory since late 2013
Zimbabwe recorded their first Test victory since late 2013

Since coming back to the international fold, Raza has been solid without being outstanding. The 49 and 40 in second and third one-day internationals were useful, while the six wickets in the Sylhet Test were even more valuable.

“Personally, it just feels brilliant and it is humbling that we have won a Test match in Bangladesh,” he gushed. “A lot of countries have not done that and for a Zimbabwe team that does not play too much Test cricket – we last played almost a year ago – to beat them by 151 runs it is just magical.”

The second and final Test starts in Dhaka on 11 November.

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