Taylor, Raza tons help Zimbabwe trounce Nepal

Sikandar Raza (left) and Brendan Taylor played terrific innings
Sikandar Raza (left) and Brendan Taylor played terrific innings

Zimbabwe 380-6 (Raza 123) beat
Nepal 264-8 (Vesawkar 52) by 116 runs
3rd game, Group B, ICC World Cup Qualifiers, Bulawayo

Sikandar Raza smashed a 66-ball 123 run knock while Brendan Taylor also contributed with a century as Zimbabwe overpowered Nepal in their opening game of the ICC World Cup Qualifiers encounter in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe won the toss and decided to bat first. Debutant Cephas Zhuwawo (41) set the platform with a blistering 23-ball knock that had three boundaries and four sixes while Solomon Mire (52) wasn't far either. Zimbabwe raced to 77 runs in the first seven overs Sandeep Lamichhane (1-67) trapped Zhuwawo LBW.

Mire reached his fifty off 36 deliveries but Basant Regmi (2-69) helped Nepal made a brief comeback when he had Mire stumped and also took a return catch to send Hamilton Masakadza (17) early.

The innings was resurrected by a 87 run stand between Taylor (100) and Craig Ervine (34) but the decisive stand came for the fifth wicket when Raza (123) came to the crease.

Both Taylor and Raza plundered 173 runs off 107 deliveries with the latter being the aggressor to take the game away from Nepal. Both the players went on to reach their respective centuries with Raza going at a strike-rate of 186 with seven boundaries and nine sixes as Zimbabwe posted a massive 380 for six in the 50 overs.

In the chase, Nepal were never in the game chasing a massive target with only Sharad Vesawkar (52) and Aarif Sheikh (50) managing half-centuries and with Raza (3-48) contributing with the ball also, the visitors were kept down to 264 for eight in the 50 overs.

The 116 run victory has taken Zimbabwe to top of Group A with Raza claiming the man of the match award.

© Cricket World 2018