The race for the playoffs begins at the International League T20 (ILT20) and on Thursday, in one such high-voltage clash, the star Zimbabwe all-rounder Sikandar Raza sealed a remarkable chase for Dubai Capitals with a six on the last ball against Desert Vipers at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Friday. This victory was crucial for Dubai Capitals to remain in contention for the playoffs in the ongoing ILT20 2024.
Talking about the match, Desert Vipers opted to bat first and posted a total of 171/7 in their allotted 20 overs, led by a half-century from Alex Hales (66). The Capitals encountered an early setback in their chase, falling to 32/3 within 5.1 overs. However, Dubai Capitals' skipper Sam Billings (57) and Sikandar Raza (60*) steadied the innings with a crucial 79-run partnership for the fourth wicket, revitalizing their side's chances.
Despite Matheesha Pathirana dismissing Billings in the 15th over, Sikandar remained resolute at the crease, ultimately steering his team to victory. Requiring six runs off the final ball, Raza maintained his composure and executed a perfectly timed six. He lofted the ball over the long-off fielder, taking advantage of a slower delivery, and concluded the match in a stylish fashion with a maximum.
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Dubai Capitals stay alive by the skin of their teeth & they have Raza to thank 🙇🙌— Zee Cricket (@ilt20onzee) February 9, 2024
6 needed on the last ball & the 🇿🇼 maestro deposits it over long off 🤯#DVvDC | #KoiKasarNahiChhodenge | #DPWorldILT20onZee pic.twitter.com/iygmkvjHCl
I'm sorry for him but we needed this win more: Sikandar Raza
During the post-match presentation, Sikandar Raza was presented with the Player of the Match award in recognition of his decisive innings. After being asked about his last ball six, Raza said that before the delivery he said to himself, “I don't think he'll go short. I'll hold my ground, and if he goes slow into the wicket, I'll take it on.' The legendary Zimbabwe batter also mentioned that Naseer will learn from this experience. Raza also emphasized that being under pressure as a bowler teaches valuable lessons.
"I'm sorry for him but we needed this win more! I would say, Faith. Faith keeps me strong. I bowl hard in the nets, and bat for long periods and then take power-hitting as a separate drill. I do the hard work and keep my belief in it, because results are not in my control," Raza said during the post-match conference.