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Sikandar Raza led from the front for Zimbabwe | Image Credit: Zimbabwe Cricket

Raza excellence keeps Zimbabwe alive; Namibia and Uganda in top 2

Namibia and Zimbabwe secured crucial wins against Kenya and Rwanda respectively in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Africa Region Qualifier 2023.

Picture Credit: Zimbabwe Cricket

Namibia won by 6 wickets against Kenya

Disciplined Namibia bowling ensured that Kenya found the going tough in early overs. After losing Rushabhvardhan Patel (1), Collins Obuya (15), and Pushkar Sharma (5) cheaply, Irfan Karim (43*) and Sachin Bhudia (18) came together to stabilise the innings. But lacking a late charge, the innings finished at 104/6. 

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At the nets with Namibia's David Wiese | ICC Men's T20WC 2022

After adding 20 runs for the first wicket, Michael van Lingen was the first wicket to fall having edged one behind the wicket. Soon, Namibia lost three more wickets in a space of 27 runs. But before Kenya could sense a way back in, Jan Frylinck (57*) and JJ Smit (14*) put for a brisk match-winning stand of 59 runs. 

With this win, Namibia sit at the top of the Africa Region Qualifier points table. They have four wins from four contests and have eight points to their name.

Zimbabwe won by 144 runs against Rwanda

After a shocking defeat to Uganda had severely challenged their T20 World Cup aspirations, the Chevrons put up their best show against Rwanda to keep their chances alive.

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Raza hat-trick finishes Rwanda innings | T20WC 2024 Africa Qualifier
Sikandar Raza wiped off the Uganda tail

Sikandar Raza led the charge with a special performance. Leading from the front, the skipper opened the batting and hit a quick-fire 58 from 36. His knock included six fours and four sixes. His partner, Tadiwanashe Marumani, too, let it loose and added 50 from 31 balls with the help of three fours and three sixes. Quick-fire contributions from Ryan Burl (44* from 21) and Luke Jongwe (17* from 4) in the death overs, helped Zimbabwe to 215/4.

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Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza continued his stunning form at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

A spirited display with the ball ensured that the Rwanda chase never took off. While Richard Ngrava (3/11), and Blessing Muzarabani (1/10) did early damage, Ryan Burl (2/7) hit the middle-order hard. 

It was that man, Raza, who finished once more for Zimbabwe. He wiped off the tail with a stylish hat-trick in the 19th over to finish with 3/3.

Despite this win, Zimbabwe sit with only four points on the table and needs other results to fall their way in order to qualify.

Uganda won by 9 wickets against Nigeria

Uganda solidified their historic triumph against Zimbabwe on 26 November by securing a decisive victory over Nigeria, dispelling any notion of luck.

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Uganda upset Zimbabwe | Match Highlights | T20WC 2024 Africa Qualifier

Batting first, Nigeria failed to hit triple-digital scores as they were bowled out for 99 runs. Five of their top six batters managed to get starts but failed to convert it into a big score.

Uganda had an early hiccup when they lost opener Simon Ssesazi in the fourth over but Ronak Patel (60*) and Roger Mukasa (28*) ensured there were no more scares. They stitched an unbeaten 77-run stand to take their team home by nine wickets with 15 balls to spare.

The win puts Uganda in the second spot as they leapfrog Kenya on net run rate. They have two more matches to go and if they can hold on to their top two spot, Uganda will have punched their tickets for the 2024 ICC Men's T20 World Cup.