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Sean Williams ensured Zimbabwe would not become the first top tier side to lose to United Arab Emirates when his counter-attacking half century secured a four-wicket victory in their World Cup clash in Nelson on Thursday.
Williams (76 not out) and Sean Ervine (42) were required to rescue their side with an 83-run partnership after UAE's bowlers had reduced them to 167 for five in the 33rd over of their innings in the Pool B clash at Saxton Oval.
The left-handed pair had already settled any nerves by the time 29-year old Ervine was caught and bowled by Krishna Chandran with just 36 runs from seven overs required.
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Zimbabwe captain Elton Chigumbura came in to see his side safely to their target of 286 with two overs to spare and he finished on 14 not out.
UAE, making their first World Cup appearance since 1996, posted a competitive 285 for seven and then took wickets at crucial moments with wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor's dismissal in the 28th over looking almost fatal at the time.
Taylor was well set and looking to up his scoring rate when he attempted to sweep a full delivery from Nasir Aziz and was struck low on his front pad.
He was given out for 47 but reviewed the decision only for technology to show the ball would have hit the middle stump.
Their tails up, UAE looked on course to record their first win over a Test nation in their 20th official one-day international until Williams and Ervine intervened.
The victory ended Zimbabwe's losing streak of seven matches stretching back to their three-wicket win over Australia in Harare last August.
Shaiman Anwar led the United Arab Emirates to their highest one-day total when they posted 285-7 to open their World Cup campaign against Zimbabwe in Nelson on Thursday.
Anwar scored an impressive personal best 67 as the UAE celebrated their return to cricket's elite stage with a host of records at Saxton Oval.
After being sent into bat by Zimbabwe in their Pool B encounter on a ground with small boundaries and a fast outfield, UAE first of all easily surpassed their previous best facing a Test nation of 204 against Bangladesh in 2008.
They then also registered their highest-ever overall one-day total by passing the 282 they made against Afghanistan last year.
For the weekend warriors from the UAE, who survive on limited international cricket and whose only other World Cup appearance was nearly 20 years ago, there were special elements.
It was a personal best score for Anwar, the 35-year-old Pakistan-born player in his eighth international.
He reached 50 with the first six of the match, driving Tinashe Panyangara over the bowler's head and into the sightscreen.
His partnership of 82 with Swapnil Patil (32) was a UAE record for the fifth wicket.
At the tail, Amjad Javed (not out 25) and Mohammad Naveed (not out 23) produced their highest scores and their unbeaten eighth-wicket partnership of 53 was also a UAE record.
With 43-year-old Khurram Khan contributing 45, along with 34 from Krishna Chandran, UAE did enough with the bat to show they were not daunted by the professional Zimbabwe attack.
Zimbabwe won the toss and elected to bowl with the same line up that performed credibly against South Africa, despite a 62-run loss, in their first game in Hamilton on Sunday.
UAE opener Andri Berenger, received a life on the first ball he faced which was edged and dropped by Brendan Taylor behind the stumps.
Taylor made no mistake two overs later only for Berenger to be called back when replays showed Tendai Chatara had over-stepped with his delivery stride.
While Berenger lived dangerously, it was the more sedate Amjad Ali at the other end who was the first wicket to fall when he feathered Chatara to Craig Ervine at second slip and was gone for seven.
Solomon Mire winkled out Berenger for 22, tempting him with a short-pitched delivery and the hook shot was edged through to Taylor.
At 40-2 in the 11th over, Khurram and Chandran set about rebuilding the innings.
Rotating the strike on a diet of singles, with the occasional boundary, they put on 82 for the third wicket when Mira removed Chandran with the first ball of his third spell.
Khurram departed soon after for 45, cutting the ball to Sean Williams at point to give Chatara his second wicket.
Chatara was the most successful Zimbabwe bowler with three for 42.
United Arab Emirates
Amjad Ali c Ervine b Chatara 7
A. Berenger c Taylor b Mire 22
K. Chandran c Chigumbura b Mire 34
Khurram Khan c Williams b Chatara 45
S. Patil c Chakabva b Williams 32
Shaiman Anwar c Ervine b Williams 67
R. Mustafa c Taylor b Chatara 4
Amjad Javed not out 25
Mohammad Naveed not out 23
Extras (b4, lb6, w15, nb1) 26
Total (7 wickets; 50 overs) 285
Did not bat: Mohammad Tauqir, Nasir Aziz
Fall of wickets: 1-26 (Amjad Ali), 2-40 (Berenger), 3-122 (Chandran), 4-134 (Khurram Khan), 5-216 (Patil), 6-230 (Mustafa), 7-232 (Anwar)
Bowling: Panyangara 9-0-66-0 (5w); Chatara 10-1-42-3 (1nb, 3w); Mire 8-0-39-2; Kamungozi 10-0-53-0; Chigumbura 1-0-12-0 (2w); Williams 8-0-43-2 (1w); Raza 3-0-11-0; Masakadza 1-0-9-0
S. Raza c Chandran b Tauqir 46
R. Chakabva hit wicket b Tauqir 35
H. Masakadza lbw Amjad Javed 1
B. Taylor lbw Aziz 47
S. Williams not out 76
S. Mire c Patil b Naveed 9
C. Ervine c and b Chandran 42
E. Chigumbura not out 14
Extras (lb6, w10) 16
Total (6 wickets; 48 overs) 286
Did not bat: T Panyangara, T Chatara, T Kamungozi
Fall of wickets 1-63 (Raza), 2-72 (Masakadza), 3-112 (Chakabva), 4-144 (Taylor), 5-167 (Mire), 6-250 (Ervine)
Bowling: Naveed 10-1-60-1 (4w); Amjad Javed 9-0-49-1 (5w); Aziz 10-0-53-1; Tauqir 9-0-51-2 (1w); Chandran 9-0-59-1; Mustafa 1-0-8-0
Result: Zimbabwe won by four wickets
Zimbabwe win by four wickets with Williams slammed three consecutive boundaries off Naveed in the 48th over.
Chasing a stiff target of 286, Zimbabwe coasted home with two overs to spare with Sean Williams unbeaten on 76 off 65 balls.
Sikandar Raza (46) gave them a flying start while Taylor (47) and Ervine (42) made important contributions as UAE struck at crucial intervals.
Tauqir was the pick of the bowlers claiming two for 51.
Chandran has struck as Ervine chips a return catch. Zim 250-6, 43 overs.
Craig Ervine c & b Krishna Chandran 42 (32b 2x4 2x6)
Naveed strikes having Mire caught behind. Zim 167-5, 32.4 overs.
Solomon Mire c Patil b Mohammad Naveed 9 (22b 0x4 0x6)
Aziz strikes a deadly blow trapping Taylor plumb in front as the Zimbabwe attempts to sweep and also lose their decision review. Zim 144-4, 27.3 overs.
Brendan Taylor lbw b Nasir Aziz 47 (44b 5x4 1x6)
Taylor gets a couple of boundaries off Tauqir thanks to sloppy fielding. Zim 142-3, 27 overs.
Taylor has smashed Aziz for a flat six back over his head. Zim 132-3, 26 overs.
UAE skipper Tauqir seems to be having the Midas touch with Chakabva dismissed hit wicket after losing his balance. Zim 112-3, 22.1 overs.
Regis Chakabva hit wicket b Mohammad Tauqir 35 (62b 4x4 0x6)
Javed strikes trapping Masakadza leg before to put UAE in control. Zim 72-2, 15.1 overs.
Hamilton Masakadza lbw b Amjad Javed 1 (4b 0x4 0x6)
Tauqir strikes in his first over removing Raza who cuts straight to backward point. Zim 64-1, 13 overs.
Sikandar Raza c Rohan Mustafa b Mohammad Tauqir 46 (44b 6x4 1x6)
Raza hits successive fours from off-spinner Nasir Aziz to bring up the 50. Zim 55-0, 10 overs.
Raza pulls a short Naveed ball from outside off and hooks it over square leg for the first six of the innings. Zim 46-0
Raza hits three boundaries, all around the ground, off Javed to kick-start Zimbabwe's run chase in the eighth over. Zim 39-0
Raza slams Javed square on the off for the first boundary of the innings. Zim 9-0, 4 overs.
Shaiman Anwar stroked his highest score in one-day international cricket but threw his wicket away at a crucial time as United Arab Emirates scored 285 for seven in their World Cup clash against Zimbabwe on Thursday.
Anwar, who made his one-day international debut last November against Scotland, scored 67 but was dismissed in the 45th over just when his side needed him to bat through the rest of the innings in the Pool B match in Nelson.
He was ably supported in an 82-run partnership by wicketkeeper Swapnil Patil (32), while Khurram Khan (45) and Krishna Chandran (34) also produced an 82-run third-wicket partnership for their team.
Mohammad Naveed (23) and Amjad Javed (25) combined for a quick-fire unbroken 53-run partnership at the end of the innings to drive the UAE to their highest score in a one-day international.
Tendai Chatara finished with figures of 3-42.
UAE captain Mohammad Taquir will have been pleased with the total having said when they were asked to bat by Elton Chigumbura at the toss that a score of between 280-300 would be needed on the small Saxton Oval ground.
The team from the Middle East, making their first World Cup appearance since 1996, looked a little nervous at the beginning and Andri Berenger was dropped by wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor in the second over after playing one of several false shots.
Berenger was then caught by Taylor in the fourth over, only to be recalled because Chatara had overstepped.
The Africans, however, managed to dismiss Amjad Amal (seven) and Berenger (22) to reduce the UAE to 40 for two in the 11th over before Chandran and Khan came together.
The lefthanded Khan, who at 43 became the oldest man to score a one-day international century last November, did not look out of place at the top level as he got the UAE innings going.
UAE bolstered by the power hitting from the eighth wicket pair of Naveed and Javed have made an impressive 285-7 after being put into bat.
Shaiman Anwar top scored with 67 off 50 while Khurram Khan (45) gave them a solid start.
Anwar is turning it racing to his second half century with a six off Panyangara. It came off just 37 balls. UAE 204-4, 40 overs.
Chatara strikes as Williams takes a superb catch at gully to dismiss Khurram. UAE 134-4, 30.1 overs.
Khurram Khan c Williams b Chatara 45 (55b 6x4 0x6)
Patel opens his account with classic cover drive off Mire. UAE 128-3, 28 overs.
Zimbabwe get a breakthrough with a bowling as Chandran holes out to Chigumbura. UAE 122-3, 27.1 overs.
Krishna Chandran c Chigumbura b Mire 34 (63b 3x4 0x6)
Khurram goes down on his knees and sweeps Raza for a much-needed boundary UAE 122-2, 27 overs
Khurram uses his dancing feet and lofts Williams over the covers for a boundary. UAE 79-2, 16 overs.
Chandran gets into his stride with a couple of boundaries off Kamungozi. UAE 71-2, 15 overs
Khurram gets going slamming a couple of boundaries off Mire on either side of the wicket. UAE 60-2, 13 overs.
Khurram is off the mark with an inside edge to the fence off Chigumbura which misses the stumps. UAE 52-2, 12 overs.
Mire strikes banging it short and Berenger falls edging it behind. UAE 40-2, 10.5 overs.
Andri Berenger c Taylor b Mire 22 (36b 3x4 0x6)
Berenger lofts Mire over his head for a lovely boundary.
Chatara strikes as Amjad edges to second slip. UAE 26-1, 5.5 overs.
Amjad Ali c Ervine b Chatara 7 (17b 1x4 0x6)
Amjad punches Panyangara through the gap on the off for his first boundary. UAE 23-0, 5 overs.
Berenger smashes a free-hit from Chatara to midwicket for his second boundary. UAE 19-0, 4 overs.
Berenger survives for the second time after being caught behind off a no-ball from Chatara
Berenger hits the first boundary of the match chipping Panyangara over mid-off. UAE 10-0, 3 overs.
Berenger survives the first ball from Chatara with Taylor palming away an outside edge. UAE 4-0, 2 overs.
Sri Lanka-born Berenger and Amjad Ali open for UAE as they face up to Panyangara.
Zimbabwe have won the toss and opted to field first against UAE.
One change for Zimbabwe. Regis Chakabva comes in for Chamu Chibhabha.
UAE - Amjad Ali, Andri Berenger, Krishna Chandran, Khurram Khan, SP Patil, Shaiman Anwar, Rohan Mustafa, Amjad Javed, Mohammad Naveed, Mohammad Tauqir, Nasir Aziz
Zimbabwe - Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Sean Williams, Craig Ervine, Elton Chigumbura, Solomon Mire, Tinashe Panyangara, Tendai Chatara, Tafadzwa Kamungozi
Zimbabwe have warned they will show no mercy against cricket minnows the United Arab Emirates in their World Cup match in Nelson on Thursday, with captain Elton Chigumbura promising a "ruthless" approach.
The Pool B match statistics are heavily lop-sided in favour of Zimbabwe, seeking a commanding win as they bid to bounce back from their opening loss to South Africa.
"You have to take every game seriously, do the basics right and make sure when you get into a good winning position you are ruthless and win the game," Chigumbura said Wednesday.
Zimbabwe put up a credible showing in parts during their tournament opener against South Africa.
They had their border rivals struggling at 83 for four before century-makers David Miller and JP Duminy mounted a 256-run rescue mission to lift the Proteas to 339.
In reply, Zimbabwe reached 191 for two before they lost their last eight wickets for just 86 runs.
"It was a confidence boost the way we played (in parts) but also disappointing to play the way we did for 90 overs but we didn't manage to finish off," Chigumbura said.
This will be the first one-day international between the two sides and UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir spelled out his team's ambition in the tournament.
"See, every individual in the team has his own target and goals. Collectively we are looking forward to at least having a couple of wins against test nations," Tauqir said.
"Predominantly it's an expat game in the UAE, a lot of Asian, a lot of English, Australian people play there, but I believe our participation in the World Cup would inspire many more Emirati nationals to follow the game with passion."
On paper, an established cricket nation such as the 10th-ranked Zimbabwe should be far too powerful for UAE who scrapped into the World Cup as one of the final two qualifiers along with Scotland.
Zimbabwe's aim in the build-up to Thursday's match has been to correct problem areas that surfaced against South Africa.
"We have to make sure that we improve on things that we didn't do well from the first game," Chigumbura said.
"That's the most important thing when it comes to our team because we are quite balanced when it comes to batting and bowling, so it's just polishing up where we went wrong in the first game."
Zimbabwe are seen to be in a three-way battle with Ireland and the West Indies for the fourth quarter-final spot in a pool which also includes South Africa, defending champions India and Pakistan.
Ireland have already struck the first blow with their upset win over the West Indies on Monday and Zimbabwe know they cannot afford to slip-up against any of the minor teams or their chance to make the knockout phase could be over.
Saxton Oval, with its short boundaries, offers the potential for a high-scoring game.
Chigumbura is expecting big totals from his top order and not just Hamilton Masakadza who impressed with 80 against South Africa followed an unbeaten 117 against Sri Lanka in a warm-up match.
"He's leading from the front as the senior batter in the team and it's rubbing off on the rest of the players," the captain said.
"The good thing about our team at the moment is everyone is in good nick, so don't expect just Hamilton to put up a good performance."
Five match facts:
- These teams have never before met in one-day internationals. United Arab Emirates have lost all 10 of their previous ODIs against Test-playing nations.
- UAE's Khurram Khan's ODI average of 53.4 is the fourth highest of anyone playing at least 10 innings.
- In November 2014, Khurram became the oldest player to hit a one-day international century, at 43 years and 162 days, against Afghanistan at the Dubai ICC Academy.
- Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura has taken two wickets in his last 14 ODI innings, at an average of 139.5 and strike rate of 147.
- Khurram and UAE skipper Mohammed Tauqir are both 43 and the oldest players in the tournament.
Squads and officials:
Zimbabwe: Elton Chigumbura (capt), Sikandar Raza, Regis Chakabva, Tendai Chatara, Chamu Chibhabha, Craig Ervine, Tafadzwa Kamungozi, Hamilton Masakadza, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Solomon Mire, Tawanda Mupariwa, Tinashe Panyangara, Brendan Taylor, Prosper Utseya, Sean Williams
UAE: Mohammad Tauqir (capt), Khurram Khan, Amjad Ali, Amjad Javed, Andri Berenger, Fahad Alhashmi, Manjula Guruge, Kamran Shazad, Krishna Chandran, Mohammad Naveed, Nasir Aziz, Swapnil Patil, Rohan Mustafa, Saqlain Haider, Shaiman Anwar
Umpires: Chris Gaffaney (NZL), Johan Cloete (RSA)
TV Umpire: Richard Illingworth (ENG)
Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)
Weather forecast: Fine at first, late showers. Maximum temperature 25 Celsius
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