How Ricky Ponting inspired Sikandar Raza to plot Pakistan’s downfall at the T20 World Cup

Words of motivation from the legendary Ricky Ponting inspired Zimbabwe’s all-rounder Sikandar Raza as he played a key role in his side’s stunning win in a run against former champions Pakistan at the T20 World Cup here on Thursday.

Raza put on another brilliant performance as he took three wickets for 25 runs from his four overs quota to play a key role in the massive upset and snatched his third man-of-the-match prize.

“One thing I thought to myself. A little clip was sent to me this morning where Ricky Ponting has a little word. I was excited, I was nervous, I was excited about today,” Raza said at the post-game presentation.

“The motivation was always there, but when I needed a little nudge, I thought this clip worked wonders, so thanks to Ricky as well.” Born in Pakistan, Raza was overcome with emotion and speechless.

“I think I’m at a loss for words. My throat is dry, probably from all the emotions. I can’t tell you how proud I am of these guys,” Raza said.

“The way our closers started at the top is just incredible and the way we supported it in the field and the way we kept believing in it, I don’t think I have any words at the moment can say.” When asked about the wrist tap signal he sent to his captain, Craig Ervine, Raza said, “When we got to Australia I said to my captain, ‘If you make Man of the Match, vote You a watch from the catalog and I will buy you. But if I win Man of the Match, you buy me one.

“So I’m just reminding him that you actually owe me three watches now.” Zimbabwe captain Ervine described the win as something special.

“Especially for the work we did to get into the Super 12 and we didn’t want our tournament to end there. We wanted to come in and play really good cricket against some top teams.

โ€œWe did that extremely well today. I thought, based on our batting performance, we thought maybe we were 20 or 25 short. But our seamstresses hit their thongs early on and it was just a little bit more in the wicket than when we started,โ€ said Ervine.

Speaking of Raza, he said: “He came to the party like he always does and took a couple of crucial wickets down the middle.

“I think he’s got three Man of the Matches so I’ll be broke when we get home.” A disappointed Pakistani captain Babar Azam said his team’s batting department is not up to par.

“We had a bad first six overs but Shadab (Khan) and Shan (Masood) built a partnership but unfortunately Shadab got out and then back to back wickets and put pressure on the shots,” he said.

โ€œWe don’t use the new ball well in the first six overs. Later we finished well. We will sit together and learn from our mistakes and come back hard next game.”



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