Zimbabwe turn back UAE
NELSON, New Zealand (AP):
Cricket part-timers the United Arab Emirates (UAE) made a bold return to the World Cup after almost 20 years yesterday, fully stretching Zimbabwe before losing by four wickets in a tight-finishing Pool B match.
Shaiman Anwar made 67 and 43-year-old veteran Khurram Khan 45 as the UAE scored 285-7 after being sent in to bat. After slipping to 167-5, Zimbabwe relied on Sean Williams' unbeaten 76 to win with 12 balls to spare.
Off-spinner Mohammad Tauqir, who became the World Cup's oldest captain at 43 and who works full-time as an airline purser, took 2-51 as the UAE staunchly defended their total before Williams struck three consecutive boundaries for the winning runs.
The UAE last played at a World Cup in 1996, winning one game, and their players are mostly expatriates who have to work full-time jobs while pursuing their cricket careers. The team finished second to Scotland at the World Cup- qualifying tournament in New Zealand in October, and came into yesterday's match confident of being competitive against teams such as Zimbabwe, who revived their campaign after losing to South Africa by 62 runs in their opening match.
83 for the sixth wicket
After reaching a competitive total - their highest ever in a one-day international - the UAE leaked early runs, then exerted some pressure on Zimbabwe before left-handers Williams and Craig Ervine put on 83 for the sixth wicket to energise the run chase.
Captain Elton Chigumbura (14 not out) was at the crease when Williams struck three hefty blows to secure the win in the 48th over.
"I was disappointed about the fielding," Chigumbura said. "But, other than that, I thought the guys played well with the bat."
The UAE coped well when they found themselves sent in to bat after losing the toss. Opener Amjad Ali was out for seven with the total 26, but the remainder of the top and middle order was productive.
Andri Berenger made 22, Krishna Chandran 34, Khan 45 and Swapnil Patel 32, before Anwar dashed 67 runs from 50 balls with nine fours and a six.
Amjad Javed (25) and Mohammad Naveed (23) added an unbroken partnership of 53 for the eighth wicket, which closed out the innings effectively.
The UAE still made a strong declaration that they won't be overwhelmed at this tournament.
"We played some good cricket, but we were expecting a different result," Tauqir said. "We knew our limitations, but we knew, if we scored between 280 and 300, we could restrict them. I thought they batted well, they had some good partnerships - both the left-handers played well and they won the game.