PRESIDENT Mnangagwa yesterday praised the Zimbabwe Cricket national team for their excellent performance after a record breaking 304 runs win against the United States of America (USA) at Harare Sports Club and urged Bulawayo residents to come in their numbers to support the team.
Overjoyed by Chevrons’ performance in the Group Stages of the 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers, President Mnangagwa took to his Twitter to congratulate the team for a job well done.
The Chevrons will now play their Super Six matches in Bulawayo and President Mnangagwa encouraged fans in the City of Kings and Queens to come in their numbers and rally behind their team.
“Well done Zim Cricket, the nation stands behind you! Keep it going! The crowds at Harare have been fantastic! Bulawayo, it’s your turn to show your support now! #Proud Nation #Support the Chevrons,” President Mnangagwa said on his Twitter page.
Zimbabwe went into yesterday’s match looking to end their group campaign on a high note and managed to do so in style. After they were sent in to bat first, Zimbabwe batsmen made light work of American bowlers, showing that the two countries are a world apart in cricket scoring a huge 408/6 in 50 overs, a record-breaking score and one of many that were broken on the day.
For the first time ever, four hundred runs were scored on Zimbabwean soil in a One Day International (ODI) match, becoming the highest score ever made in the country and Zimbabwe’s highest in the format, surpassing their previous best of 351 against Kenya in 2009 in Mombasa.
The architect of that innings was Sean Williams, who was standing in as the captain for the injured Craig Ervine. Going into yesterday’s match, Williams was nowhere near the top 10 highest individual scores in ODIs for Zimbabwe, but by the time he walked back to the pavilion in the 49th over, he was holding the third highest score, behind Hamilton Masakadza (178 not out) and Charles Coventry (194 not out).
The 36-year-old all-rounder top scored with 174 runs from 101 deliveries surpassing the likes of Craig Wishart, Andy Flower, Grant Flower and Brendan Taylor among others who all had been in the top 10 prior to yesterday’s game. The in form Williams has now scored two centuries and a half century in four matches in the tournament.
Sean Williams top scored with 174 runs from 101 deliveries
Yesterday he was supported by Ryan Burl and Sikandar Raza who fell short of scoring half centuries.
Burl fell one hit short of equalling AB de Villiers’ fastest half century in the history of ODI cricket (16 balls).
Burl was caught on 47 runs off 15 deliveries while Raza fell two runs short off his half century on 48 runs from 27 balls.
After a brilliant batting display, Zimbabwean bowlers stepped up to make sure that the game really makes it to the history books.
It only took Zimbabwean bowlers 25,1 overs to wipe out USA with Raza and Richard Ngarava taking two scalps each for 15 and 25 runs respectively.
Bradely Evans, Luke Jongwe and Burl all took one wicket each as they bowled out USA for just 104 runs with their top scorer being Abhishek Paradkar with 24 runs from 31 deliveries.
The win was the Chevrons’ highest victory margin in ODI history and also the second highest margin in the history of the sport.
New Zealand holds the record for the highest winning margin of 317 runs which they achieved against Sri Lanka in January in India. Zimbabwe’s previous record was a 202 runs victory over Kenya in 1999.
Zimbabwe’s next match is on Thursday at Queens Sports Club for the Super Six, however, their opponents are yet to be known as Group B matches will be concluded today.
The Chevrons will play all their three Super Six games at Queens Sports Club and two wins will be enough to send them through to the World Cup in October in India.
Zimbabwe Cricket players celebrate a wicket against USA
At Takashinga Cricket Club, Netherlands stunned the West Indies with a 22 runs win in the Super Over. The two teams finished tied in their regulated 50 overs, both scoring 374 runs and had to go into the Super Over.
Batting first (team batting last in the match, bats first in the Super Over), Netherlands’ Logan Van Beek scored 30 runs off Jason Holder and went on to concede just eight runs with the ball to help his team secure second place in Group A.
Group A has been completed and the Chevrons proceed into the Super Six with four points (two from wins against Netherlands and West Indies) while the Dutch carry through two points (win against West Indies). The Windies, however, go into the Super Six with zero points as they did not win against any top team.
Points won against the bottom two sides in group matches cannot be taken over to the Super Six stage.