Perhaps when Nevill Madziva took the field on Saturday to play the T20 match against India, he wouldn’t have thought firstly, that the game would come so close and secondly, he would take his team to victory by bowling a superb final over, and that too to a finisher of the reputation of MS Dhoni.
As the game went on, it came down to the final over. With Dhoni at the wicket, the chances of a victory strongly favored India. Skipper Graeme Creamer threw the ball to Madziva to bowl the final over of the match, hoping against hope for an unlikely win.
Madziva’s first ball to Dhoni was wide outside the off-stump which Dhoni barely managed to hit. He scampered for a single which brought Axar Patel on strike. Trying to be a hero, Patel hit one straight to long-off, only to see him being dismissed.
In the meantime Dhoni crossed over to face the third ball from Madziva. That ball was a yorker outside off-stump. There was nothing that Dhoni could do other than digging it out and running through for a single.
Three balls, six runs required, when for the first time Rishi Dhawan who was making his T20 debut was on striker. Madziva’s first ball to Dhawan was a wide one which he tried to play from an occurred position and thereby missing the delivery completely. It was the fourth ball of the final over.
The next ball from Madziva to Dhawan was a wide which made the equation five runs from 2 deliveries. Dhawan then scored a single of the fifth ball to make the equation, four from the last ball.
The drama surrounding the final over was at its peak now. Dhoni, the best finisher currently in the world was one hit away from taking India to a nail-biting victory.
It was time for Madziva to become either a hero or a villain. The onus was on him to make it or break it for his team. Not many bowlers end up on the winning side when bowling the final delivery of an innings to Dhoni, but it was a golden chance for Madziva.
Running in for his final delivery, many thoughts must have fluttered through his mind, but Madziva kept a cool head and bowled full and wide outside off-stump. A delivery out of which Dhoni could only muster one run and Zimbabwe registered a memorable victory.
Madziva thus became a household name in Zimbabwe cricket, one who denied Dhoni a boundary in the final ball and took his team a famous victory. Zimbabwe thus have taken the lead in the T20 series and kept the Indian players guessing what’s next from Zimbabwe on Monday.