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ICC World Cup Qualifiers, Super Sixes, Match 8, Review: UAE upset Zimbabwe, hosts crash out of the race

UAE beat Zimbabwe by 3 runs (DLS Method).

Zimbabwe vs UAE
Zimbabwe vs UAE. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The merry run of the hosts, Zimbabwe, came to an end with a narrow defeat against the UAE. Coming in to the game, the hosts needed a win to ensure that they qualified for the World Cup 2019. Also, the odds favored them as UAE had failed to register a single win in the Super Sixes. But the fortunes did favor UAE on the day.

They managed to steal a 3-run win as Craig Ervine failed to do a Dinesh Karthik on the final ball of the game. The fans at the venue were in tears and the hopes of the entire nation crashed big time. This, in all fairness, was an upset. After Scotland’s unfortunate exit yesterday, this came as a second heartbreak of the tournament.

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Earlier in the game, Zimbabwe won the toss and opted to bowl first. Certainly, they took the rain factor into consideration before taking the call. Tendai Chatara was quick to provide an early breakthrough to the hosts by dismissing Ashfaq Ahmed on 10 in the fourth over. UAE skipper Rohan Mustafa was joined by Ghulam Shabber at the crease.

The two batsmen took quite some time to get used to the track. An odd boundary came every now and then, but the Zimbabweans kept their lines tight predominantly. After a long 74 run stand, Sikandar Raza managed to dismiss Mustafa on 31 (58) in the 21st over. A couple of overs later, the other set batsman, Shabber was also cleaned up by Raza on 40 (62).

Rameez Shahzad and Shaiman Anwar had the task of taking the baton forward from the score of 106/3. The two batsmen tried to accelerate the run flow as well. Shahzad, in particular, looked in fine touch. Shahzad scored a brilliant 59 off 61 deliveries with four boundaries and a couple of sixes to his name. He became Chatara’s second wicket after adding 74 runs for the fourth wicket.

Meanwhile, Shaiman Anwar headed back to the pavilion with 33 (51) to his name. The sudden middle order collapse saw the UAE batsman head back to the pavilion in a cavalcade. The rains intervened and the UAE innings had to wind up with 235/7 in 47.5 overs. Raza was the pick of the bowlers for Zimbabwe with 3/41 to his name.

And the run chase

The game resumed after a brief pause with Zimbabwe needed 230 runs to win in 40 overs as the revised target. It was a horrific start for the hosts as Mohammad Naveed sent both the openers, Solomon Mire and Hamilton Masakadza, packing for single digit scores inside the first five overs. Brendon Taylor (15) perished soon after with Ahmed Raza getting through his defense in the 11th over.

Peter Moor and Sean Williams then steadied the ship for the hosts. While Moor looked struggling for his 61-ball 39, Williams brought all his experience to good use on the day. Even after Moor was dismissed in the 28th over, with still over 100 runs to get, Williams anchored the Zimbabwean innings. He reached his fifty and found a good partner in Sikandar Raza who decide to start from the fourth gear.

Raza smashed a quick 26-ball 34. However, two quick wickets from skipper Rohan Mustafa in his successive overs sent both the set batsmen back in the hut. Williams played very well for his run-a-ball 80. In the end, it was down to 15 needed off the last over. Craig Ervine and Kyle Jarvis were at the crease. The equation further reduced to 6 off the last ball as Naveed came in running to bowl to Ervine.

Ervine failed to get the maximum and Zimbabwe fell short by 3 runs. With the defeat, they are out of the race now. The final match of the Super Sixes, between Ireland and Afghanistan, will determine the fate of the tournament now.

Bried Scores:

UAE 235/7 in 47.5 overs (Shahzad 59, Shabber 40, Raza 3/41, Chatara 2/49)

Zimbabwe 226/7 in 40 overs (Williams 80, Moor 39, Naveed 3/40, Mustafa 2/56)

Player of the Match: Mohammad Naveed

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