Sometimes the improbable happens at a time when we least expect it. Randomly finding some money lying on the ground when you are broke. Withdrawing cash from an ATM if you live in Zimbabwe. A former reality TV star becoming the President of his country. Or maybe finding out that Zimbabwe pulled off a come-back for the ages against Afghanistan to strengthen their chances of qualifying for the Cricket World Cup!
Today in #CWCQ action:#PNGvIRE LIVE ➡️ https://t.co/cCy6tksQSj#WIvUAE LIVE ➡️ https://t.co/BoFS1rC5Om#ZIMvAFG LIVE ➡️ https://t.co/0rEW6x8IMC#SCOvHK LIVE ➡️ https://t.co/cs8jE7NnLf pic.twitter.com/DiVuFP0NVZ
— ICC (@ICC) March 6, 2018
Zimbabweans all across the globe experienced a wild array of emotions during Zimbabwe’s 2 run victory over Afghanistan so I thought I’d jot them down in the order that I experienced them.
08:00 am – I just got to work and I was getting ready to cover the West Indies game against the United Arab Emirates. I was excited because that meant I could also see Chris Gayle in person! Not only that but I was optimistic that Zimbabwe could put a string of poor performances behind them and beat Afghanistan, a team that has of late been a thorn in the Chevrons side.
08:10 am – Zimbabwe was in Bulawayo whilst I was in Harare so it meant that I would only be able to keep up the game though live updates online. I switched on the live cricket score notifications and set out to Old Hararians Sports Club to cover the aforementioned West Indies vs the UAE game.
09:24 am – Things were going smoothly. The West Indies game had just started as did the Zimbabwe game. I know this because the cricket update app told me so. I had barely sat down after finding a good seat before the app lit up again. I checked it out it and told me Zimbabwe was 2/1 after two overs. Zhuwao out for a duck. A familiar sense of dread began to spread throughout my body.
09:39 am – Another wicket. This time Solomon Mire falls for Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s enticing ball, edging it to Ihsanullah at first slip. Zimbabwe 6/2 at this No, no, no, no, no…….
09:45 am – Not long after that and Afghanistan got another wicket, Mujeeb striking once again by claiming Hamilton Masakadza’s scalp. Zimbabwe was now 17/3. This can’t be happening! Why does Zimbabwe always do things like this when destiny is in our hands?! Why, *sobs*, WHHHHHYYYY!!!
10:32 am – Zimbabwe is currently 52/3. Surely the ship has been steadied?! Come on its Brendan Taylor and Craig Ervine batting, they can build up a solid partnership right? RIGHT?
10:55 am – Whelp! Out goes Ervine after the ball finds the edge as he attempt to block and goes through to the gloves of Shahzad, but the finger is raised! Karma I know this is you at work, you’ll make this right won’t you? OK to make up for this egregious decision can Zimbabwe just score 200 runs without a loss? Zimbabwe is 66/4.
11:53 am – Holy…. I can’t believe this? I guess I successfully bargained with karma itself because after 33 overs Zimbabwe finds itself on 154/4 thanks to a solid partnership between Raza and Brendon Taylor. Maybe there’s hope after all!
12:05 am – Taylor is out leaving Zimbabwe on 164/5. I now switch off the updates on my phone because I’ve seen this movie before. When Brendon goes out, more wickets will surely follow. Knowing this leaves me incredibly sad. I decide to check back in 1 hour.
1:09 pm – I begrudging check the score an see that in Zimbabwe is all out for 196. We could have at least hit 250 runs at the rate at which were going at earlier. Chest pains.
1:20 pm – You know what? 196 all out isn’t that bad considering we were 66/4 at one stage. At least we put up a decent fight, what more could you ask for. I now focus my attention on getting Chris Gayle’s autograph and get a picture taken with him. Gayle scored an impressive 123 runs by the way!
Chris Gayle blasts a six over the head of his teammates on the boundary as he approaches a century in the Windies' first match of the #CWCQ in Zimbabwe.
— ICC (@ICC) March 6, 2018
NO FREAKING WAY!
5:10 pm – The West Indies match as expected as they strolled to a 60 run win over UAE, but then I heard a group of people shouting in the stands. The noise spreads and I’m wondering why people were celebrating the Windies victory so much. Amongst the noise another reporter tells me that their getting excited because Zimbabwe needs one more wicket to beat Afghanistan in the final over. Afghanistan only need 3 more runs wins too. My jaw drops…….
Zimbabwe require ONE WICKET for victory.
This is not a drill! 🇿🇼
— ICC (@ICC) March 6, 2018
5:10 pm – Up steps Brian Vitori to bowl the final over. Dot ball. Wicket. Chaos ensues.
Courtesy of ICC YouTube
Time seemingly stopped for me. I didn’t know how it happened because my updates had been turned off, but for the next 10 minutes I wilded out with other Zimbabwe cricket fans who had reason to celebrate!
A victory over Afghanistan is by no means a guarantee that Zimbabwe will qualify for the World Cup. What it does provide on the other hand is a much needed confidence boost for the Chevrons. The Super 6 will surely test their mettle, but at least they can take solace in the fact that if they dig deep enough they can grind out results like their victory over Afghanistan.
*All pictures used in this article were provided by the ICC.