Missed catches and top-order failure: Sikandar Raza lists reason behind Zimbabwe’s 100-run loss to India

Sikandar Raza

On Sunday, July 7, the Zimbabwe National Cricket Team led by Sikandar Raza took on the Indian National Cricket Team led by Shubman Gill in the second T20I of the five-match series at the Harare Sports Club in Harare.

The Chevrons came into the second T20I high on confidence, having defeated the Men In Blue in a low-scoring thriller on Saturday, July 6. The scenes in Harare were absolutely sensational as Zimbabwe beat India by 13 runs to win the series opener and take a 1-0 lead.

In the first T20I, Zimbabwe were invited to bat first and got off to a perfect start to their innings when Wessly Madhevere drove Khaleel Ahmed for a four. However, Mukesh Kumar ended the hosts’ joy by sending Innocent Kaia’s off stump into a somersault in the second over.

Brian Bennett and Wessly Madhevere then pushed through the innings but were unable to score boundaries and locked themselves in. They eventually finished at 40/2 at the end of the powerplay and had a platform set for a big score. However, in the middle overs, Zimbabwe completely lost their way and wickets fell like a house of cards. As many as 5 batsmen were dismissed during that phase and managed to score only 50 runs. When it looked like the home team would be left all out for under 100, Chatara and Clive Madande joined forces and stitched together an unbeaten 25 runs to take their team to 115.

The total was very small and looked like a walk in the park for Team India as their batting line-up had star players in Shubman Gill, Abhishek Sharma, Riyan Parag, Ruturaj Gaikwad and Rinku Singh.

However, Zimbabwe’s bowlers were at their best and dismissed four batsmen inside the powerplay before bowling out the opposition for 102 runs. It was the lowest total ever defended against India in a T20I and the lowest against any team in Harare.

World champions will end up playing like world champions – Sikandar Raza

In the second T20I between India and Zimbabwe, the Chevrons were destroyed by Abhishek Sharma (100), Ruturaj Gaikwad (77) and Rinku Singh (48) and conceded 234 runs. Chasing the target, they were bowled out for 134, losing by 100 runs.

After the match, Sikandar Raza said that he expected a dominant comeback from India as they are the world champions. Sikandar Raza rued the dropped catches of his team and was also disappointed with the performance of the top-order batsmen. Sikandar Raza stated:

“The world champions will end up playing like world champions. The dropped catches today definitely hurt us. I was expecting 200 runs on this wicket today but they got 30 runs more. Going into the chase, I thought it would be a close game but it wasn’t to be, the top order was not up to the task.”

Blessing Muzarabani’s performance impressed Zimbabwe captain and Sikandar Raza said the player will continue to grow if he stays fit. Sikandar Raza said:

“Blessing has grown by leaps and bounds, he is very hungry and his graph will continue to rise as long as he stays fit. It is a task that we have been talking about for a long time, today we came out positive and played well, many of the problems occurred due to inexperience.”