#CWC15: Williams sees Zimbabwe home after strong UAE challenge

MATCH 8: Zimbabwe completed their fourth highest successful ODI run chase to complete a hard earned victory over the UAE as Sean Williams’ unbeaten 76 saw them home.

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The UAE, did much to shed their minnows tag with a disciplined batting display after being inserted by Zimbabwe skipper, Elton Chigumbura, who was a relieved man after his side snuck home by four wickets as their superior experience counted when it mattered.

“I am disappointed with our fielding, we are better than that but otherwise we played well with the bat,” Chigumbura said. “We didn’t feel the pressure, the most important thing was to get over the line and we did that today.”

UAE’s captain Mohammad Tauqir had demanded 300 runs, They fell 15 runs short, but Tauqir can have few complaints. His side lost Amjad Ali (7) early, but played with discipline to bypass the opening exchanges when the two new balls were causing problems.

Tendai Chatara had Ali caught by Sean Ervine and five overs later Andri Berenger edged Solomon Mire behind to leave the UAE at 40 for two.

Khurram Khan and Krishna Chandran Karate rebuilt adding 82 for the third wicket in 16.2 overs before Chandran (34 from 63 balls) mistimed More to Chigumbura at mid-off. Then Khurram’s cut shot was neatly pouched by Williams at point off Chatara.

Zimbabwe v United Arab Emirates - 2015 ICC Cricket World CupSwapnil Patil and Shaiman Anwar began a second phase of consolidation with the latter being the more adventurous - his straight six off Pantangara in the 40th over a genuine delight as he brought up his fifty from 37 balls.

Then Patil (32 from 38 balls) skied Williams into the offside as the UAE’s highest fifth wicket stand, another 82 runs partnership, was brought to a close. Rohan Mustafa and Anwar (67) fell within three balls as the UAE reached 232 for seven at the start of the 45th over, but Muhammad Naveed and Amjad Javed added 53 runs came in 35 balls to boost the final total to 285 for seven.

Zimbabe’s openers added 64 for the first wicket as the UAE bowlers struggled for consistency. Sikander Raza (46) and Regis Chakabva (35) were responsible for the strong reply, but then Hamilton Masakadza failed and the UAE challenge was still alive.

Brendan Taylor is Zimbabwe’s premier bat and today he was crucial in maintaining the chase. He fell three runs short of a half century before a delivery from Nasir Aziz got one past his sweep shot and resulted in an lbw decision.

Sean Williams (76 not out from 65 balls) and Craig Ervine (42 from 32) needed a partnership to ensure Zim nerves were spared and their 83 for the sixth wicket provided the win by four wickets with 12 balls to spare.

“Congratulations to Zimbabwe for the winning the game,” said Tauqir. “We played some good cricket but we expected a different result.

“We knew this wicket was high scoring but we felt with our score we could restrict them but they batted well and that partnership in the middle was crucial for them.”

It was so close for the UAE. Their performance didn’t earn them the points they craved, but will give them renewed heart for the challenges ahead.

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James Buttler

James has been working as a journalist and broadcaster in cricket since 2006 and was an avid fan for many years before that.
As the editor of World Cricket Badger he is intent on building the website to give quality coverage of the domestic game around the world.
He is also the presenter of the Cricket Badger Radio Show on Radio Yorkshire every Tuesday evening between 7-9pm UK time.
James was the full-time Media Manager at Yorkshire County Cricket Club between 2007 and 2010.
James is a published author, a writer/video contributor to many cricket publications and a complete cricket badger!

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