Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter
IT was a winning start in the Bangladesh Premier League for Zimbabwean all-rounder Sikandar Raza whose side Rangpur Riders won by 34 runs over Comilla Victorians at Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium.
Sikandar Raza at Rangpur Riders training session
The Chevrons stalwart scored 12 runs off 10 deliveries as the Riders were sent in to bat first and they finished with a total of 176-5 in 20 overs. Raza, an off spin bowler finished with bowling figures 2/23 in four overs as they bowled out their opponents for 142 runs in 19.1 overs.
Coming in to bat at number four, Raza’s innings consisted of one six and he went on to pick up the wickets of Victorians’ top order batsmen, Saikat Ali for 12 runs and Dawid Malan for 17 runs.
Some of the match winning performances from Rangpur Riders came from Rony Talukdar who top scored with 67 runs off 31 deliveries and former Pakistan international Shoaib Malik who chipped in with 33 runs from 26 balls.
With the ball, Hasan Mahmud finished with the best figures for Riders, taking three wickets, conceding 20 overs in 3.1 overs. Robiul Haque also took two wickets, conceding 33 runs in four overs.
Raza is set to miss the Chevrons’ T20I series against Ireland starting on Thursday at Harare Sports Club after he was granted permission by ZC to play franchise cricket in Bangladesh. Raza had an unbelievable end to 2022, which saw him notch up award after award including the International Cricket Council Men’s Player of the Month for August, becoming the first Zimbabwean to win the prestigious accolade. The honour came after the talented all-rounder scored three centuries against Bangladesh and India.
Sikandar Raza celebrates wicket for Rangpur Riders
It came as no surprise when Raza was recently shortlisted for three major ICC awards, the sought-after Sir Garfield Sobers Trophy which celebrates the overall best performing men’s cricketer, Men’s ODI Cricketer of the Year and the Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year. Voting is open on the ICC website.
Up next for Raza and his Riders side is a clash against the Shakib Al Hasan captained Fortune Barishal team who lost their opening match of the tournament by six wickets against Sylhet Strikers (who signed Ryan Burl).
The match is scheduled for later today at Sher-E-Bangla National Cricket Stadium as well. — @brandon_malvin