ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 8th Match: Williams helps Zimbabwe take down spirited UAE

Williams exults after leading Zimbabwe to victory

Williams exults after leading Zimbabwe to victory

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Zimbabwe all-rounder Sean Williams scored an unbeaten 76 and took two wickets to help his side take down a spirited United Arab Emirates side by four wickets in Nelson.

Williams was well supported by Craig Ervine, who scored a quickfire 42.

However, United Arab Emirates batsman Shaiman Anwar deserves a lot of credit for his valiant knock of 67.

Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura would have been delighted with his decision to bowl first after United Arab Emirates opener Amjad Ali was caught by Ervine at second slip off the bowling of Tendai Chatara for seven runs.

Andri Berenger scored 22 runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Solomon Mire.

Krishna Chandran and Khurram Khan stabilised the innings with an 82-run partnership before Chandran was caught by Chigumbura at mid-off off the bowling of Mire for 34.

Khan ended up making 45 runs before he was brilliantly caught by Williams at point off the bowling of Chatara.

Anwar and Swapnil Patil steadied the innings with an 82-run partnership, during which Anwar brought up his half-century, before Patil was caught by Regis Chakabva at cover off the bowling of Williams for 32.

Rohan Mustafa only made four runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Chatara.

Anwar went on to score 67 off 50 balls, which included nine boundaries and a six, before he was caught by Ervine at mid-on off the bowling of Williams.

Anwar made a gutsy 67

Anwar made a gutsy 67

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Amjad Javed and Mohammad Naveed put together an unbeaten 53-run partnership to carry the United Arab Emirates to 285/7, which is their highest ODI score, off their 50 overs.

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

Chasing 286 to win, Zimbabwe got off to a brilliant start as Sikandar Raza and Chakabva amassed a 64-run partnership before Raza was caught by Chandran at point off the bowling of captain Mohammad Tauqir for 46.

Hamilton Masakadza failed to have an impact with the bat as he was given out lbw off the bowling of Javed for one run.

Chakabva went on to score 35 runs before he slipped and hit the stumps with his foot to be given out hit wicket off the bowling of Tauqir.

Brendan Taylor managed to make 47 runs before he was given out lbw off the bowling of Nasir Aziz.

Taylor decided to review the decision, but replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and going on to hit middle and leg stump.

Mire mustered nine runs before he was caught behind off the bowling of Naveed.

Williams and Ervine steered Zimbabwe’s innings back in the right direction with an 83-run partnership before Ervine was caught and bowled by Chandran for 42.

Ervine smashed two boundaries and two sixes during his knock of 42

Ervine smashed two boundaries and two sixes during his knock of 42

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Despite losing Ervine, Williams kept his cool and guided Zimbabwe to a four-wicket win with 12 balls to spare.

Williams finished unbeaten on 76 off 65 balls, which included seven boundaries and a six.

Tauqir was the most successful bowler with two wickets, while Naveed, Javed, Aziz and Chandran claimed one wicket each.

Tauqir was disappointed to have lost the match, and said: “We played some good cricket but we were expecting a different result. I think this wicket, we saw the last game also, even 300 was not enough. We know our limitations. They batted well, had some good partnerships. Both the left-handers played well, and they won the game. I think overall the bowlers bowled well. One crucial partnership, I think it saw them through the game. If one of them got out it would have been a different result. It was a good learning experience, and I think we would like to put up a positive performance in the upcoming games.”

Chigumbura was pleased with his team’s performance, and said: “Disappointed about the fielding, but our guys played well with the bat. I thought when Craig Ervine went into bat he was positive and brought the run-rate down and it made the job of the guy coming in easier. That’s where we went wrong against South Africa. It’s good to take the momentum from this game into the game against the West Indies. Hopefully we can polish our fielding and have a good game in all departments.”

Williams was named Man of the Match, and said: “I tried not to feel the pressure. We lost wickets at the wrong stages, but the wicket was very good just to keep knocking the ball down the ground. The coach and I have been trying to talk about the sweeps [and not playing them so much]. I’ve been trying to punch it down the ground and build my innings. Some of their guys bowled really well to us, credit to them for making it difficult for us. Wicket was very good to play straight. Anything across the line was difficult. Started to lose pace towards the end.”

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