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Zimbabwe star Raza delights in IPL winning debut

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By Sports Reporter 

ZIMBABWE and Punjab Kings all-rounder Sikandar Raza has credited the team environment for his good start in the Indian Premier League.

Raza playing his opening match of the tournament against Kolkata Knight Riders, looked unfazed and put in a decent shift, picking up one wicket and hitting 16 runs as his side secured a seven-run win via the on Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method in a rain-marred game against Kolkata Knight Riders on Saturday.

The 36-year-old Zimbabwean star the positive team spirit within the Punjab Kings camp had made it easy for him to settle with the team.

“First game is always a little nervy. Credit to the Punjab Kings team, since I have come here they have made me feel good, part of the family,” Raza said in an interview which was pointed on the Punjab Kings’ official social media platforms.

“Even before I went out to bat, I was very clear about my role and what was expected of me in fielding, batting and bowling, which relaxes me. I was a lot settled and I did not have a lot of nerves today due to the team environment that we have built,” he added.

Although he was not at his usual best, Raza’s performance was an important part of Punjab’s win in the opener against Kolkata Knight Riders.

He was well complemented by his teammates  Bhanuka Rajapaksa, Sam Curran and Arshdeep Singh, who all starred for Punjab Kings and delivered them a strong win in the first game. Arshdeep was the best bowler in the day and took three wickets for 19 runs from his 3 overs.

Much is expected of Raza from this season. He had a tremendous year with Zimbabwe in 2022 and was one of the top players in world cricket. He will be eager to continue his good start to his maiden season in the IPL when the Punjab Kings take on the Rajasthan Royal away on Wednesday.