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ABC News

Zimbabwe star Sikandar Raza inspired in Twenty20 World Cup upset win over Pakistan by Ricky Ponting video

Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza has revealed a pump-up from Australian great Ricky Ponting played a key role in his match-winning display against Pakistan.

Raza snared 3-25 from four overs to inspire Zimbabwe to a famous one-run win over Pakistan in yet another T20 World Cup thriller on Thursday night.

In reply to Zimbabwe's 8-130 on Thursday night, Pakistan was on track for victory after getting the equation down to four runs required off the final four balls.

Mohammad Nawaz, whose horror final over against India cost his team victory at the MCG, this time looked set to be the match winner in Perth after moving to 22.

But he was caught at mid-off on the penultimate ball of the innings, leaving Pakistan needing three off the final delivery.

Shaheen Afridi, facing the final delivery from Brad Evans, bunted the ball down the ground and, needing two runs to send the game to a super over, tried to scramble back for the second.

Zimbabwe fans had their hearts in their mouths when wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva fumbled the incoming throw, but he recovered from the juggle and whipped off the bails, sparking wild celebrations among Zimbabwe's players.

The upset result brought back memories of Zimbabwe's win over Australia in the 50-over World Cup in 1983.

Raza revealed his man-of-the-match performance in Perth, removing Shan Masood, Shadab Khan and Haider Ali in the space of two overs, was partly inspired by watching a video of Ponting enthusing about him.

"I couldn't sleep much last night. For me, this game was playing over and over again," Raza said.

"We don't get to play top nations a lot. We don't get to play under lights a lot. This is my first game in Perth.

"My body was sleeping, but my mind was constantly spinning, reading, thinking about the game.

"When I woke up a friend of mine sent me a message and he said, 'Have you seen a clip on the ICC page?' That was Ricky Ponting talking about Zimbabwe and, in particular, me.

"Listen, some of my friends and family members messaged and they had a tear in their eye. For me, I had goosebumps.

"It was one of the greats of the game talking about Zimbabwe, and in particular me. Not that I needed an extra kick, but if I needed one, that clip did the job for me."

An eye condition prevented Raza from becoming a fighter pilot in the Pakistan Air Force. He emigrated to Zimbabwe to 2002, and he has flourished in the national set-up of his adopted country.

It led to Ponting singing Raza's praises leading into the game against Pakistan.

"His level of maturity has gone through the roof. He stands up in pressure moments," Ponting said in the video.

"When you start talking about world cups, players' names and reputations are forged on how you perform in big games.

"He stood up in the qualifiers. He basically single-handedly got Zimbabwe into the World Cup in the first place."

Thursday's win over Pakistan has left them with a real shot of making the semi-finals ahead of games against Bangladesh, the Netherlands and India.


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