The best cricket matches aren’t necessarily played between the best teams. And Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh was a good example of that.
Two of the less fashionable teams at the World Cup battled it out in an excellent match on Sunday that had a bit of everything, including a dramatic final over that included sixes from tail-enders, four leg byes, wickets and no-balls on technicalities.
In the end, Zimbabwe needed to hit the last ball of the innings (a free hit for that no-ball) for three to tie or four or six to win it but didn’t manage a run at all.
Chasing 150, Zimbabwe made a poor start in the chase (not for the first time) and only got so close because Sean Williams played a gem of an innings with 64 off 42.
Had he not been run out after some excellent fielding from Bangladesh’s Shakib Al-Hasan, they may have won in the end.
They may also have won had the superb Sikandar Raza not had a rare off day. He did take a wicket yet again but was more expensive than usual and was out for 0 with the bat.
Zimbabwe will have been left thinking about what may have been if they’d won here.
They would have been in second place and with Pakistan still playing South Africa, anything could have happened, and they may have made the semi-finals having been around the 100/1 mark to do so just a couple of weeks ago.
Progress to the semis is unlikely now but Zimbabwe have been excellent so far in this tournament and have achieved all that on minimum resources.
It would be a lovely story if 36-year-old Raza got a BBL or IPL contract on the back of his performances. But let’s wait and see.
Fast bowler Blessing Muzarabani is another who has impressed.