3rd T20I: Gave away 20 runs extra via fielding, says Zimbabwe skipper Sikandar Raza after 23-run loss

Harare, July 10 After losing to India by 23 runs in the third T20I at the Harare Sports Club, Zimbabwe captain Sikandar Raza had no qualms in admitting that the sloppy fielding efforts resulted in them giving away 20 runs extra and that they still have problems in the top of their batting line-up.

Yashasvi Jaiswal and Shubman Gill had a 67-run opening stand before Zimbabwe enforced a slowdown in the middle overs. Gill (66) and Ruturaj Gaikwad (49) joined forces for a 72-run partnership off 44 balls for the third wicket, which ensured India got to 182/4 in 20 overs.

They were also helped by Zimbabwe’s fielding being absolutely sloppy. There were lots of misfield and dropped catches -– one each shelled off Jaiswal and Gaikwad. A few half-chances were squandered, while the fielders were late on the majority of occasions in reaching the ball.

“Think it is the fielding again (on where Zimbabwe went wrong in the match). We are very proud of it but the wheels are coming off again. We gave away 20 runs extra. We still have problems at the top, but we are backing the boys. I know they are trying and once they do, we will come good again,” said Raza after the match ended.

Zimbabwe also fielded a new opening combination as Innocent Kaia is not fit and Tadiwanashe Marumani replaced him in the playing event at the top alongside Wesley Madhevere. The change began well, but the duo fell in power-play, marking the start of a top-order wobble for Zimbabwe.

“We have tried 15 different (opening) partners in a year and a half. There is a lot of cricket going on in the country. We are trying to do everything. It is time we players, including me, take responsibility. I can accept some mistakes from the young side but the seniors need to step up,” added Raza.

At the same time, he appreciated Brian Bennett and Blessing Muzarabani for being the positives for Zimbabwe through their performances.

“But we need to back them. Bennett is doing well at No.3. This is the best we have and this is the best that we can do. We have to stop talking about him (Muzarabani) because he has been fantastic. The game always rewards you, always does,” concluded Raza.

Source: IANS

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