Mohammad Naveed © AFP
Mohammad Naveed © AFP

In a must win match for Zimbabwe in the ICC World Cup Qualifier 2018, Super Sixes they opted to bowl against United Arab Emirates. With every batsman contributing UAE managed to score 235 in 47.5 overs before it started raining which forced the innings break. The target for the host was then reduced to 230 in 40 overs. Zimbabwe failed to chase down the total losing by three runs as Zimbabwe have very less chance of making it to World Cup 2019.

The equation had come down to 24 off the last three overs after the big wicket of Sean Williams (80). The responsibility was now on the shoulders of  Craig Ervine. Mohammad Naveed and Amir Hayat in the 38th and 39th over gave away only 9 runs. With 15 runs needed off the last over and Kyle Jarvis on strike Zimbabwe could only expect a miracle. Ervine edged the third ball off the over to the fence. They still needed 8 off 3 but Ervine could only manage a single on the next ball. He was back on strike for the last ball with six needed to win. However, he failed to do a Dinesh Karthik as Zimbabwe lost by 3 runs.

UAE started well with the ball reducing the host to 45 for 3. Brendan Taylor, the man in form for them was bowled by Ahmed Raza. Williams played well for his 80 and almost saw Zimbabwe home with Sikandar Raza (34) at the other end.

In the first innings, UAE batsmen made sure they stitched partnerships and didn’t give away easy wickets. Rameez Shahzad was the top scorer for UAE. He scored 59 runs including 4 fours and 2 sixes. Mohammed Naveed played a cameo innings of 22* with a strike rate of 220. Sadly for him the rain stopped the play and innings break was declared.

Sikandar Raza who is seen as an genuine allrounder now gave Zimbabwe an early wicket ended up picking 3 for 41. However, UAE’s win has given hope to Afghanistan and Ireland. The winner from tomorrow’s match will book thier tickets to England for the World Cup 2019.

Brief Scores

UAE 235 for 7 in 47.5 overs (Rameez Shahzad 59, Ghulam Shabber 40; Sikandar Raza 3 for 41) beat Zimbabwe 226 for 7 in 40 overs (Sean Williams 80; Mohammad Naveed 3 for 40) by 3 runs (DLS method).