Williams leads Zimbabwe past UAE


Zimbabwe edged to a gritty four-wicket win over United Arab Emirates at the Cricket World Cup on Thursday.

Sean Williams guided his team to victory with a fine unbeaten 76 off 65 balls as Zimbabwe chased down their target of 286 with 12 balls to spare at Saxton Oval in Nelson.

Brendan Taylor (47), Sikandar Raza (46) and Craig Ervine (42) were also good contributors for the winners.

Earlier, Shaiman Anwar had given UAE hope by making 67 and helping his team reach 285-7.

But Zimbabwe did enough in their chase, improving to a 1-1 win-loss record in Pool B.

Put in to bat, UAE needed some early luck.

Andri Berenger was dropped by wicketkeeper Taylor off his first ball, before later being caught but given not out due to a front-foot no-ball.

His opening partner Amjad Ali (seven) was instead the first to fall, edging to Ervine at second slip off Tendai Chatara (3-42).

For the third time in his innings, Berenger was caught behind when on 22 – and this time he was out off Solomon Mire (2-39).

Krishna Chandran (34) and Khurram Khan (45) put on an excellent 82 for the third wicket before they both departed.

Khan was caught brilliantly by a diving Williams at point off Chatara.

The innings slowed before some good lower-order hitting from Anwar in particular, with the batting power-play bringing 48 runs in five overs.

Anwar made a 50-ball 67 that included nine fours and a six, while Amjad Javed (25 off 19) and Mohammad Naveed (23 off 17) were also good contributors late in the innings.

Zimbabwe made a solid start to their chase before Raza fell softly, picking out Chandran at backward point off Mohammad Tauqir (2-51).

Hamilton Masakadza only lasted four balls before being trapped in front by Javed for one.

Opener Regis Chakabva (35) was unlucky, his 62-ball innings over when he slipped and hit his wicket.

When Taylor fell for 47, Zimbabwe looked in trouble at 144-4 and needing better than a run-a-ball.

The required run rate crept up over seven and the favourites needed 103 runs off 84 balls to win with Ervine and Williams at the crease.

But the next five overs went for 46 runs to put Zimbabwe back on track and leave UAE looking desperately for answers.

Zimbabwe needed 31 off the final five overs, and it always looked likely with Williams still at the crease.

After settling for singles, he saw his team to victory with three consecutive boundaries in the 48th over.