It was a team effort — Raza

HARARE - Zimbabwe cricket stand-in captain Sikandar Raza Butt says Sunday’s 10-run victory over India in the final Twenty20 match at Harare Sports Club was a result of team effort.

The locals needed a morale booster heading into the match after having lost the One Day International series 3-0 and the first T20 match by a huge 56 runs.

Raza was appointed skipper for Sunday’s match to replace substantive captain, Elton Chigumbura, who was rested as a precautionary measure after pulling his hamstring.

After the match, all plaudits were directed towards Raza for the way he had skippered the team as he was visible in the field dishing out instructions to teammates.

“Brother, you say I led the side, I didn’t. I will be honest with you, I didn’t,” Raza told reporters after the match.

“My job was made easier by the 10 other blokes who were on the park with me. Everybody wants to win.

“When you have got 10 other guys trying to pull in one direction and if you are one guy low on energy and there’s so much positive attitude around you, it’s difficult to fall into a bad place.

“One man can’t do anything. It was all 11 of us. It took all 11 of us to win the game. So as much as it might look like it was me, it wasn’t.  I’ll tell you I was the last guy. It was my team that actually got the job done for me.”

Batsman Chamu Chibhabha top scored for Zimbabwe with 67 runs to become the first local cricketer to score a half century against India in this format.

The previous record was held by former Zimbabwe captain, Tatenda Taibu, who scored 45 runs against India in 2010.

Leg-spinner Graeme Cremer was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3-18 which is also a new record against the tourists.

Chris Mpofu held the record with figures of 3-33 achieved in the first T20 on Friday.

Raza himself became the first Zimbabwean captain to win a T20 encounter against India.

“Sean Williams is another guy who’s got a lot of energy. Cremer has been bowling brilliantly. Suddenly, then things start to happen,” said Raza.

“Even though after the first six overs they were 59 or 60, we believed we could get the job done. Our heads didn’t dip down. For me that was the turning point.

“Everybody, even after six overs for 60 runs and one wicket knew that we’re going to give these guys a tough time.”

Zimbabwe will be hoping to take the momentum generated by Sunday’s win into the incoming tour by New Zealand which starts on August 2 at Harare Sports Club.

Zimbabwe and the Black Caps will play three ODIs and two Twenty20 matches.

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