Zimbabwe have shocked the cricket world at the T20 World Cup in Australia, beating Pakistan by one run in a final-ball thriller.
Chasing Zimbabwe's total of 8-130 on Thursday night in Perth, Pakistan were on track for victory after getting the equation down to four runs required off the final four balls.
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Mohammad Nawaz, whose horror final over against India cost his team victory last Sunday, this time looked set to be the match winner with the bat after moving to 22.
But when he was caught at mid-off on the penultimate ball of the innings, it left Pakistan needing three off the final delivery.
Shaheen Afridi, facing the final delivery from Brad Evans, knocked the ball down the ground and desperately tried to scamper back for a second run to send the match to a Super Over.
Zimbabwe fans would have had their hearts in their mouths when wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva fumbled the incoming throw.
But when Chakabva recovered from the juggle and whipped off the bails, it sparked wild celebrations among Zimbabwe's players.
"I'm just happy that I managed to gather it in the end," Chakabva said.
"It did skid a little bit, and coming at pace like that I had to try to watch it. Fortunately, it stuck in the end.
"I can't even describe the feeling (when the bails came off). I was more theatrical than I've ever been. It's such a massive win for us, and it means so much to the boys.
"The people back home have been superb. The whole nation has been behind us.
"We've already seen some videos from back home, in every place people celebrating. We can see what it means to them."
Zimbabwe, whose opening match against South Africa was abandoned due to rain, are now in the running to progress to the semis after producing one of the biggest upsets of the tournament.
The result all but ended Pakistan's hopes of reaching the knockout stage.
"To be honest it's hard," Pakistan captain Babar Azam said of the back-to-back losses.
"We will sit and discuss the mistakes and come back strongly."
While fans and commentators were left singing the praises of Zimbabwe's performance, others blasted Pakistan over the shock loss.
— Saj Sadiq (@SajSadiqCricket) October 27, 2022
Zimbabwe!!!! 🤯🤯 what a World Cup this has been so far 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 #PAKvsZIM
— Kate Cross (@katecross16) October 27, 2022
— Amit Mishra (@MishiAmit) October 27, 2022
— Sohail Imran (@sohailimrangeo) October 27, 2022
— NauMot (@NaushMoti) October 27, 2022
Can't believe #Zimbabwe you did it. What a match man. Kudos to all the bowlers for their excellent bowling and brilliant team efforts. Special attention to Sikandar Raja for 3 wkts and Brand Evans for 2 wkts with 25 runs by each in 4 overs spell !#PAKvsZIM #T20worldcup2022
— Its_me (@Its_me_53) October 27, 2022
There is probably no cricketer in world cricket who contributes more in T20Is than Sikander Raza.
Ridiculous, especially over the last 2 years.#PAKvsZIM
— Sorabh Pant (@hankypanty) October 27, 2022
Surely, its quite painful to digest such a horrific defeat but the boys have given us soo many entertainments in recent times which we shouldn’t forget. We appreciate them in their good times and we should do the same in their worst. Its a beauty of the game.🇵🇰❤️#PAKvsZIM
— Ali Akhtar (@AliAkhtar29) October 27, 2022
— Muhammad Saad Saleem 🇵🇸 (@imsaadsaleem) October 27, 2022
Ricky Ponting inspires Zimbabwe to victory
Zimbabwe allrounder Sikandar Raza later revealed how a pump-up from Australian great Ricky Ponting played a key role in his match-winning display.
Raza snared 3-25 from four overs to inspire Zimbabwe to a famous victory, reviving 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 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."
In Thursday's other games, Virat Kohli starred for India in a 56-run defeat of the Netherlands, while Rilee Rossouw blasted South Africa's first century at a Twenty20 World Cup to help put their campaign back on track with a 104-run flogging of Bangladesh.
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