Zimbabwe cricket has been several highs and lows in the last few years, more lows than the highs. But over the last two years, with some chart-breaking performances from the likes of Sikandar Raza, Luke Jongwe, Craig Ervine and Blessing Muzarabani, Zimbabwe are back amongst the big boys: The Super 12 stage of the T20 World Cup.
While it was heart-breaks for Scotland, Zimbabwe’s fans, who flocked in numbers were jumping in joy at the Bellerive Oval in Hobart. In the post-match presentation, skipper Craig Ervine echoed on the celebration, stating that it is wonderful to repay the fans’ support and insisted that it meant a lot to the team.
“I don’t think anyone can explain what this means. To have the whole country behind us for the last week, it’s wonderful to repay their support. The support for us has been special, looking forward to travelling around Australia and having this kind of support,” Ervine said at the post-match presentation.
One of Zimbabwe’s mainstays, Raza was yet amongst the runs and wickets for the African nation. Raza ended with figures of 1/20 with the ball before scoring a crucial 23-ball 40 with three boundaries and two sixes. He also credited Scotland for giving a tough fight in the group, stating that the qualification was pretty cut-throat.
“Full credit to Scotland for making things tough, it was pretty cut-throat. It is pretty satisfying and humbling, it is an emotional moment as well. Credit to the two youngsters for staying out till the end and finishing it. I told Sean [Williams] that give me 8-10 balls to get going, but you are going to be the one to win us this game,” Raza said.
Like his skipper, the 36-year-old also applauded the fans for turning up in numbers and stated that they were more than ‘audible’ during the side’s run-chase here in Hobart.
“The numbers of our supporters may be small but if you hear the noise you won’t feel that way, they carry Zimbabwean cricket home and overseas as well. Very happy for them.”