The all-rounder Sikandar Raza picked up three for 25 against Pakistan on Thursday as Zimbabwe won by one run to register their first Super 12 victory at the T20 World Cup.
Beaten by an extraordinary last-ball defeat to India in their opening match on Sunday, Pakistan find their tournament in tatters, having restricted Zimbabwe to a modest 130 for eight at Perth Stadium but scoring one fewer for the loss of the same number of wickets.
Fresh off a horror last over against India that cost his side the match, Mohammed Nawaz’s nightmare tournament continued when he was caught for 22 from the penultimate ball of the match off Brad Evans (two for 25), who had an 11-run cushion in the last over.
“I really, truly believe in this group of boys,” Raza said. “Since I’ve been part of Zimbabwe cricket, I would rate that as the best victory we’ve had. There’s no better stage. This is the World Cup, the biggest stage of all.”
Pakistan’s chase got off to a rocky start, squeezed at 36 for three in the eighth over with the world’s top‑ranked T20 batsman, Mohammed Rizwan, back in the dugout for 14 having chopped a delivery from Blessing Muzarabani on to his stumps. It was left to Shaan Masood to steady the ship with a composed 44 before being stumped off a Raza wide to make it 94 for six.
After losing the toss, Pakistan’s much-vaunted pace attack bowled too full in the powerplay, conceding 47 runs, although quick wickets to dismiss the Zimbabwe openers kept the rate in check.
Signalling a return to form after scoring one in his side’s washout against South Africa on Monday, the all-rounder Sean Williams (31) found the boundary three times and looked set to accelerate with the score at 95 for three and six overs remaining.
The spinner Shadab Khan (three for 23) bowled the left-hander before he had the chance though, triggering a collapse of four for none in six deliveries. Late runs from Evans (19 off 15 balls) gave Zimbabwe the lift they ultimately needed to move to third position in Group Two.
“Today we were not up to the mark in all three departments,” the Pakistan captain Babar Azam said. Nawaz took them close, then Shaheen Afridi was run out off the last ball. In the Zimbabwe innings, Sean Williams had top-scored with 31, while Mohammad Wasim took four for 24.
Rilee Rossouw crashed his way to the first century of this year’s tournament as South Africa brushed aside Bangladesh by 104 runs in Sydney. The left-hander clubbed seven fours and eight sixes before ballooning to cover for 109 off 56 balls, while he shared a 168-run stand with Quinton de Kock, who made 63 off 38 deliveries.
The partnership was the highest in the tournament’s history, eclipsing the 166-run union between Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene in 2010, as South Africa posted 205 for five.
Bangladesh succumbed to 101 in 16.3 overs in reply, with fast bowler Anrich Nortje collecting four for 10 while left-arm wrist-spinner Tabraiz Shamsi finished with three for 20.
Half-centuries from Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav helped India make it two wins from two with an impressive 56-run victory over the Netherlands in Sydney.