10Cric IPL

Superb Sikandar Raza Leads Bulawayo Braves to 7-Wicket Win Against Harare Hurricanes



Harare: The Bulawayo Braves put on a scintillating performance on Monday evening at the Harare Sports Club and outplayed the Harare Hurricanes in a high-scoring encounter in the Zim Cyber City Zim Afro T10. The Braves won by 7 wickets with Sikandar Raza scoring an unbeaten 70 during a game that saw both sides post record totals. The win takes the Braves to the third spot on the points table.

Asked to bat first, the Harare Hurricanes’ openers started off at the speed of a hurricane, with Evin Lewis firing on all cylinders. The West Indian batter made batting look easy and took a special liking to Jack Prestwidge’s bowling, smashing him for four sixes in the second over of the innings.

Alongside Lewis, the Indian batter Robin Uthappa was also dealing in big hits, as the duo reached the 50-run mark just after the third over. The openers put on a massive 76-run partnership, before Lewis, who hit 6 sixes and 2 fours, was dismissed for 49 at the halfway stage. Uthappa was castled for 32, having hammered a couple of sixes and four boundaries during his stay.

At this point, the Braves desperately needed wickets and Patrick Dooley stepped up. He picked the wickets of Uthappa and Mohammad Nabi, to apply the brakes on the Hurricanes. Eoin Morgan was the next to depart for 7 after which Irfan Pathan (18*) and Donovan Ferreira (21*) put on a quick-fire 37-run stand to help the Hurricanes post a massive 134/4.

In response to what was a stiff target, the Braves lost Ben McDermott (8) early, after which the duo of Kobe Herft and Sikandar Raza dug in. The captain and Herft not only thwarted the Harare bowling but also took the attack to them, and were scoring at a fast rate.

Both batters were matching each other shot for shot and that resulted in a flurry of boundaries and sixes, which not only entertained the crowd on a Monday evening but also kept the contest on a knife-edge.

Raza, who had started off the tournament in fine form, was looking dangerous and along with Herft had ensured that the Braves were never too far off the asking rate. In fact, in the final three overs, the Braves needed 32 runs. The second wicket partnership was 88 runs for the Braves before Mohammad Nabi had Herft caught in the deep for 41. In that very over, Raza completed his second half-century of the tournament, as the Braves edged closer to the finish line.

While Raza could not finish things off and was dismissed just before the end for a very well-made 70 off 21 deliveries in which he smashed 6 sixes and five boundaries, it was Beau Webster who hit the winning runs and remained unbeaten on 12. The Braves completed the chase with 5 balls to spare.

Brief Scores:

Harare Hurricanes – 134/4 (Evin Lewis – 49, Robin Uthappa – 32; Patrick Dooley – 2/13, Taskin Ahmed – 1/22) lost by 7 wickets against Bulawayo Braves – 137/3 (Sikandar Raza – 70, Kobe Herft – 41; Mohammad Nabi – 1/18, Nandre Burger – 1/27)