World Twenty20 11th Match Group B qualifying round: Chigumbura helps Zimbabwe breeze past UAE

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Chigumbura hammered 53 runs off just 21 balls

Zimbabwe batsman Elton Chigumbura blasted a breathtaking half-century to carry his side to a five-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates in Sylhet.

Chigumbura was well supported by all-rounder Sean Williams, who took three wickets.

Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor would have been smiling ear to ear with his decision to bowl first as United Arab Emirates opener Shaiman Anwar was caught behind off the bowling of Tendai Chatara for six runs.

Faizan Asif only made one run before he was run out by Sikandar Raza.

United Arab Emirates captain Khurram Khan and wicketkeeper Swapnil Patil stabilised the innings with a 58-run partnership before Khan was caught by Chigumbura off the bowling of Williams for 26.

Patil ended up making 30 before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Raza.

Amjad Ali only made one run before he was also given out lbw, but only off the bowling of Williams.

Rohan Mustafa scored four runs  before he was run out by Chatara.

Things went from bad to worse for the United Arab Emirates just four balls later as Ahmed Raza was caught by Natsai Mushangwe at mid-off off the bowling of Williams for a golden duck.

Amjad Javed only made eight runs before he was caught by Tinashe Panyangara at deep square leg off the bowling of Raza.

Kamran Shahzad made a quickfire 21 before he was clean bowled by Chatara.

The United Arab Emirates eventually finished on 116/9 at the end of their 20 overs.

Williams was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Chatara and Raza chipped in with two wickets apiece.

Chasing 117 to win, Zimbabwe got off to a horrible start as opening batsman Hamilton Masakadza was cleaned up by Manjula Guruge for two runs.

Taylor managed to make 15 runs before he was caught by Anwar at mid-on off the bowling of Shadeep Silva.

Williams failed to trouble the scorers as he was caught and bowled by Guruge.

Raza only made nine runs before he was caught by Shahzad at deep point off the bowling of Ahmed Raza.

Vusi Sibanda scored 16 runs before he was caught and bowled by Khan.

However, from that point on it was all Zimbabwe as Chigumbura and Timycen Maruma amassed an unbeaten 55-run partnership, during which Chigumbura brought up his half-century, to lead Zimbabwe to a convincing five-wicket win.

Chigumbura finished on 53 off 21 balls, which included six boundaries and three sixes, while Maruma remained undefeated on 22 off 14 deliveries, which included three boundaries.

Guruge was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Silva, Raza and Khan snapped up one wicket each.

Khan was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “It’s disappointing to lose. Again we didn’t have enough runs on the board. The wicket was slow and if we’d got 140-145, we could have done well.

“[The] Dropped catches also hurt us but we still had our chances early on. We’re a young side and this is our first time at this level, so we need a bit of patience. We have to work on our fitness and hopefully next time around we go better.”

Taylor was impressed with his team’s performance, and said: “It was nice to see the guys coming out and playing with freedom. We were a bit more clinical today, even if we did lose a couple of early wickets. We were clear on 12 overs but then later we found out it was 15.4 and that relieved us and Elton was the guy who did it for us. We generally underperformed, we’re a far better unit than that and hopefully we get more consistent in the future.”

Chigumbura was named Man of the Match, and said: “Good to hit boundaries and score runs and win the game for the team and hopefully we have a chance now. I was told to back myself because I know if I get it in my area, I can hit it and it paid off today.

“For me, it was either win or lose so we gave ourselves the best chance. Now we have to wait and hopefully Netherlands win the game and our chances become much higher.”

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