from JACK KING in Melbourne, Australia
MELBOURNE, (CAJ News) – ZIMBABWE’s thrilling victory over Pakistan at the International Cricket Council (ICC) Twenty20 World Cup in Australia is a stunning reminder the lowly-ranked side can be world beaters if they put their mind to it.
The Southern African side has beaten the more fancied South Asians by one run at the Optus Stadium in Perth.
Zimbabwe prevailed 130/8 with their Pakistan-born batter, Sikandar Raza Butt, emerging the Player of the Match.
Pakistan were favourites coming to the match, thanks to their higher ranking in the ICC T20 rankings, fourth, compared to Zimbabwe’s 11th.
However, coach David Houghton’s Chevrons pulled off all the stops to secure arguably their biggest result in 15 years.
It was at this tournament in neighboring South Africa that Zimbabwe beat then-world champions Australia by five wickets, at Newlands in Cape Town.
Pakistan finished that tournament as runners-up behind India.
Retired Indian batsman, Wasim Jaffer, nonetheless cautioned against calling Thursday’s win over Pakistan as an upset.
“It would be disrespectful to Zimbabwe who have played so well and deserve all the respect and praise,” he said.
Zimbabwe, who are third next face Bangladesh in Brisbane on Sunday, were eager for a positive result after their encounter with South Africa on Monday was rained out.
Fifth-placed Pakistan now have a mountain to climb, following their opening loss to log leaders India.
Veteran Pakistan batsman, Mohammad Hafeez, had called on his side to respond well against Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, hoping they also beat South Africa.
“I would love to see us in the knockout stages. If we’re to make it, we can’t afford to make any more mistakes,” he said.
– CAJ News