- Sikandar Raza scored a half-century and bagged three wickets with the ball
Harare: On the opening day of the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10, the Bulawayo Braves kicked off their campaign in grand style at the Harare Sports Club, defeating the Harare Hurricanes by 50 runs. Much to the delight of the local crowd, the Bulawayo Braves’ captain Sikandar Raza was on fire, playing an explosive hand with the bat and also picking crucial wickets to help seal the win.
Batting first, the Bulawayo Braves were off to a good start with Ben McDermott (18) taking the attack to the bowling. However, McDermott and Kobe Herft (5) could not keep the opening stand going and departed within the first three overs, which saw the local hero Sikandar Raza take centre stage.
While Raza held forte at one end, the Harare Hurricanes’ Tinotenda Maposa was causing havoc with the ball at the other end. He dismissed Ashton Turner (5) and Ryan Burl (0) before Brandon Mavuta also got into the act, packing off the likes of Thisara Perera (4), Timycen Maruma (12) and Faraz Akram (0) in quick succession. The Bulawayo Braves had been reduced to 78/7 in seven overs, with Raza soldiering on at one end.
The Zimbabwean star was in fine form but did not have enough support from the rest of the batters. Bangladesh’s Taskin Ahmed (4) fell soon after as well, having put on a 26-run stand with Raza.
While skipper Raza was dealing in boundaries at his end, Tymal Mills (0) could not hang in and was cleaned up by Nandre Burger in the 9th over. Raza, who smashed five sixes and four boundaries, helped propel the Braves to 128/9 in 10 overs, finishing with an unbeaten 62 on his own.
In response, the Harare Hurricanes, had a slow start, losing the experienced Indian batter Robin Uthappa for a duck as Taskin Ahmed struck in the first over. In the next over Donovan Ferreira (2) was castled by Tymal Mills, while former England captain Eoin Morgan was doing his best to steady the ship.
With the Braves keeping things very tight, Morgan (7) tried to break the shackles but cut it straight into the hands of the third man fielder in the 5th over. At the half-way stage, the Hurricanes, were behind the run-rate with the score at 32/3. Mohammad Nabi was the next to be dismissed for 22, with the score at 33/4 in the 6th over.
After that Irfan Pathan picked the gaps and helped the team over the 50-run mark in the 7th over, but at the other end Samit Patel (3) was packed off by Patrick Dooley, which put Braves in control of proceedings. In the very next over, Pathan (15) chopped it onto his stumps as Raza got into the act with the ball. Raza struck off the very next delivery as well, trapping Tashinga Musekiwa lbw for a duck and had the Hurricanes in trouble.
Luke Jongwe looked to finish off the innings with a couple of big hits, but fell in the final over for 20, as the Hurricanes lost on the day.
Bulawayo Braves – 128/9 (Sikandar Raza – 62*, Ben McDermott 18; Brandon Mavuta – 3/25, Nandre Burger – 2/26) defeated the Harare Hurricanes – 79/9 (Mohammad Nabi – 22, Luke Jongwe – 20, Sikandar Raza – 3/12, Taskin Ahmed – 1/7)