Raza, BT make all star team

HARARE - Even though they failed to make it to the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, the only solace for Zimbabwe is that two of their players were able to make it into the qualifier’s team of the tournament.

All-rounder Sikandar Raza and wicketkeeper batsman Brendan Taylor both made it into the recently-ended ICC World Cup Qualifier’s team which Zimbabwe hosted.

Raza averaged 53.17 runs with a total of 319 runs in the series and 15 wickets and makes up the middle order in the squad of the tournament where he was slated on number six.

In addition to being named in the squad, Raza had earlier received the man-of-the-series accolade which he said will forever remind him of the pains of not making it to the World Cup.

“I think the trophy will serve as a painful reminder of the dreams that we had and we couldn’t get it done,” Raza said in accepting the gong.

“This trophy will also serve as a reminder for the 15 million dreams that crashed. When I started playing cricket, I thought it was to unite countries of different background coming together to play this beautiful sport.

“Unfortunately, will that’s not going to happen in next year’s World Cup, it’s certainly quite a tough pill to swallow.”

Right-handed batsman Taylor exited the games with the most runs batting at number three.

He averaged 65.29 with a total of 457 runs in seven matches at a strike rate of 96.01 and managed to hit 44 fours and eight sixes.

In second place was his counterpart Raza with 319 runs, a healthy strike rate of 109.25 laden with 21 fours and 14 sixes.

The West Indies’ duo of Evin Lewis and Marlon Samuels followed a distant third and fourth on 316 and 304 runs respectively.

Jason Holder, the West Indies captain takes charge of the qualifier team as skipper and the team also include Lewis as the opener, Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer in number two, Samuels on number four, Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan) in number five and Najibullah Zadran (Afghanistan) in number seven.

Holder comes in as the captain in number eight Safyaan Sharif (Scotland) batting at nine, Boyd Rankin (Ireland), Mujeeb Rahman (Afghanistan) bats at 11 while Afghanistan spinner Rashid Khan completes the squad list as the 12th man.

Team of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 (in batting order): 1. Evin Lewis (Windies), 2.    Kyle Coetzer (Scotland), 3. Brendan Taylor (Zim, wk), 4. Marlon Samuels (Windies), 5. Mohammad Nabi (Afghanistan), 6. Sikandar Raza (Zim), 7. Najibullah Zadran (Afghanistan), 8. Jason Holder (Windies, capt), 9. Safyaan Sharif (Scotland), 10. Boyd Rankin (Ireland), 11. Mujeeb Rahman (Afghanistan), 12.  Rashid Khan (Afghanistan).

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