Raza targetting up T20 World CSuper 12 qualification

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By Sports Reporter

ZIMBABWE’S match-winner against Ireland, Sikandar Raza was delighted with his team’s sensational victory over Ireland in Hobart on Monday, but the in-form all-rounder is fully aware of the team’s main goal to get to the Super-12 stage of the on-going ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.

Raza was adjudged the player of the match for his knock of 82 runs in just 48 balls that guided Zimbabwe to a 31-run win over the Irish in Hobart.

Speaking ahead of the match against West Indies on Wednesday, Raza said the Zimbabwe team isn’t at the tournament just to make the numbers but to advance to the Super-12 stage and face some big teams.

“When we qualified, as much as we were happy to be here, we knew that our journey is not done. We didn’t just come here because we are happy to be representing Zimbabwe. The goal we brought was to get into the Super 12 and take some of the big teams and see where we go,” said Raza.

“So to have this victory today is certainly humbling, exciting and {I’m) happy as well. But for me, once the team chat is done, I wouldn’t be celebrating this victory. It’s done, it’s in the past. We have a very tough game against the Caribbean boys in 48 hours’ time and that’s what I’m looking forward to now.”

Commenting about his great run of form in 2022, Raza said all he tries to do differently is channel his emotions the right way.

“There is no secret to be honest. The only secret I can tell you is to try to channel all the emotions of success and failure into the right way and try to compete with the best in the world so we can represent Zimbabweans and put our flag among the best in the world,” said Raza.

Sikandar Raza

The Pakistan-born all-rounder also paid tribute to the impact coach Dave Houghton has had since returning to the Zimbabwean national team fold in July. Houghton took over the reins from Lalchand Rajput, who was appointed the team’s technical director.

“I think we have a very good squad. We’ve got a very diverse squad that’s actually gelling really well. I would say again the credit really goes to David, how he looked after individual needs, and what needs to be done individually. And then he understands each and every individual player and brings us together. And I think that has been our strength and that’s why we’re gelling really well,” Raza said.

“David has made a massive difference since he’s taken over. David understands the players and gives us the freedom and brought a long list. I thought those top two, the fact that there’s a lot of respect from the coaches and players, all those things he’s allowed us to bloom and basically play with responsibility and freedom. I think the credit goes to David.” he said.

Zimbabwe will face West Indies on Wednesday knowing that a victory will see them qualifying for the Super 12 at the T20 World Cup for the first time. However, they will also be fully aware of the threat posed by two-time former champions West Indies, who are desperate to get their campaign back on track after a surprise loss against Scotland on Monday.