Key win keeps WI in World Cup hunt
NAPIER, New Zealand (CMC):
West Indies put to rest the anxiety over their participation in the next round of the ICC Cricket World Cup by brushing aside United Arab Emirates by six wickets, to set up a quarter-final clash with red hot New Zealand next Saturday.
After routing UAE for a paltry 175 at McLean Park yesterday, West Indies survived a few stutters to reach their target in the 31st over and ensure their progression in the tournament.
"Obviously it was a must-win game for us and we needed to win by a big margin," said West Indies captain Jason Holder. "We had the right intent. We were determined to finish the game before 36 overs, which was key for our run rate, and did what was necessary to play an attacking game."
Opener Johnson Charles, in for his first match of the World Cup at the expense of the injured Chris Gayle, top scored with 55 from 40 balls, while the left-handed Jonathan Carter stroked a classy unbeaten 50 from 58 balls.
Medium pacer Amjad Javed (2-29) and left-arm seamer Manjula Guruge (2-40) finished with two wickets apiece.
Earlier, Holder ripped apart the top order of UAE's innings, to send the minnows crashing to 46 for six in the 14th over.
The lanky seamer claimed four for 27 to earn Man-of-the-Match honours, with new-ball partner Jerome Taylor picking up three for 36 and pacer Andre Russell two for 20.
In danger of being dismissed for under 100, UAE were rallied by brave half-centuries from Nasir Aziz, who hammered 60 from 86 balls with eight fours, and Amjad, whose 56 came from 99 deliveries and included seven fours and a six. They put on 107 runs for the seventh wicket to frustrate West Indies.
The victory carried West Indies to six points, level in fourth spot in Group B with Ireland, who went down to Pakistan by seven wickets in Adelaide.
However, the Windies nipped the Irish for a spot in the next round by virtue of a better net run rate.
Pakistan's disciplined pace bowlers restricted Ireland to 237. After captain William Porterfield won the toss and provided Ireland's only resistance at the crease, scoring his first World Cup century (107), Pakistan replied methodically, reaching their first 100 runs without loss as openers Sarfraz Ahmed (101 not out) and Ahmed Shehzad (63) found gaps in the Irish field placements.
Sarfraz's century was Pakistan's first of the tournament, leading his team to 241-3 in 46.1 overs. Umar Akmal (20 not out) spent much of his time in the final overs blocking shots in order to give Sarfraz the strike and a chance to reach 100.