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UAE vs South Africa: De Villiers ensures Proteas make last eight

By Cricket Correspondent and Agencies

South Africa's bowlers backed up a solid batting performance led by captain AB de Villiers' 99 to ensure they qualified for the knockout phase of the World Cup with a 146-run victory over United Arab Emirates at Wellington Regional Stadium on Thursday.

De Villiers had been the lynchpin of South Africa's 341 for six that was boosted by Farhaan Behardien's 64 from 31 balls to close out the innings, while UAE, who had won the toss and opted to field, never looked like threatening the target.

They slumped to 45-3 and then gave up any pretence of chasing the total, just like they had against Pakistan last week in Napier, preferring instead to avoid being embarrassed.

Swapnil Patil top-scored with 57 not out and combined in a 63-run partnership with Shaiman Anwar (39) as UAE were dismissed for 195 in the 48th over with Fahad Alhashmi unable to bat after injuring his ankle while bowling.

South Africa finished Pool B on eight points and have virtually guaranteed second place on net run rate behind unbeaten India and are likely to meet Sri Lanka in the first quarter-final in Sydney next Wednesday.

Pakistan and Ireland are both on six points before their final match showdown in Adelaide on Sunday.

West Indies are on four points and could sneak into fourth place, and a quarter-final showdown with New Zealand, with a big victory over UAE in Napier on Sunday, knocking out the loser of the Pakistan-Ireland match.

De Villiers had looked like he might score his second century of the tournament as he dominated two partnerships but fell one run short of his 21st century when he speared the ball straight to short third man.

The 31-year-old's dismissal with more than seven overs remaining stalled his side's momentum when they looked like they might be able to pass 400 for the third time this tournament.

They had lost both Hashim Amla (12) and Quinton de Kock (26) relatively cheaply, but their middle order kicked into gear against a tidy, but non-threatening UAE attack.

Rilee Rossouw (43) and David Miller (49), who shared in a 108-run partnership with De Villiers, both contributed before JP Duminy played the junior partner in a 53-run stand with his captain and 35 with Behardien.

Behardien guided South Africa past 300 and bludgeoned 23 of the 25 runs from the final over by Amjad Javed to record his third half century and highest score.  


South Africa

H. Amla b Ali c Naveed 12
Q. de Kock c Haider b Javed 26
R. Rossouw c & b Tauquir 43
AB de Villiers c Javed b Shazad 99
D. Miller b Naveed 49
JP Duminy lbw Naveed 23
F. Behardien not out 64
V. Philander not out 10
Extras (b4, lb1, w5, nb5) 15
Total (six wickets; 50 overs) 341
Did not bat: D Steyn, M Morkel, I Tahir
Fall of wickets: 1-17 (Amla), 2-85 (de Kock), 3-96 (Rossouw), 4-204 (Miller); 5-257 (de Villiers); 6-292 (Duminy)
Bowling: Naveed 10-0-63-3 (nb3,w1); Shazad 8-0-59-1 (nb1); Javed 10-0-87-1 (nb1,w2); Tauqir 10-0-47-1 (w1); Al Hashmi 7.2-0-45-0 (w1); Khan 4-0-31-0; Anwar 0.4-0-4-0

United Arab Emirates

A. Ali c Behardien b Duminy 21
A. Berenger c Rossouw b Morkel 5
K. Khan c de Kock b Morkel 12
S. Anwar c Rossouw b Tahir 39
S. Patil not out 57
S. Haider c Rossouw b de Villiers 7
A. Javed c sub (Parnell) b de Villiers 5
M. Naveed c de Villiers b Philander 17
M. Tauqir b Steyn 3
K. Shahzad c Steyn b Philander 0
F. Al Hashmi (absent injured) -
Extras (b4, lb16, w6, nb3) 29
Total (all out; 47.3 overs) 195
Fall of wickets: 1-29 (Berenger), 2-45 (Ali), 3-45 (Khan), 4-108 (Anwar); 5-118 (Haider); 6-125 (Javed); 7-163 (Naveed); 8-189 (Tauqir); 9-195 (Shahzad)
Bowling: Steyn 9-1-40-1; Philander 8.3-1-34-2 (nb1, w1); Morkel 10-2-23-2 (nb2, w1); Duminy 3-1-12-1; Behardien 4-1-11-0 (w2); Tahir 10-0-40-1 (w1); de Villiers 3-0-15-2 (1w)

Toss: UAE
Result: South Africa win by 146 runs
Man of the match: AB de Villiers
Umpires: Rod Tucker (AUS), Steve Davis (AUS)
TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)


United Arab Emirates captain Mohammad Tauqir will be forced to back up his pre-match predictions and hope his bowlers hit their spots early after they won the toss and chose to field against South Africa in the World Cup on Thursday.

Tauqir had said prior to the Pool B game that he did not expect South Africa to post a score in excess of 400 at Wellington Regional Stadium, as they had done against West Indies and Ireland in earlier matches.

South Africa, one of the pre-tournament favourites, have still not qualified for the knockout stages after an inconsistent tournament.

The matches where they posted in excess off 400 runs have been book-ended by losses to India and Pakistan and questions have been asked whether the side had truly shaken off the tag of World Cup chokers.

De Villiers, however, said while the game was 'must win', it was also obvious he wanted the team to use it as a tune up for the quarter-finals, and they went in with a strong line-up despite the temptation to test their depth.

"It's a very important game," he said. "It's not a maybe we'll win it kind of game. It's a must-win for us, very important.

"A couple of guys need to get into form. I'd like to see a few players score some runs.

"It's good exercise for everyone to go out there, to have a nice bowl, maybe for one or two of the part-timers to get an extra bowl.

"We might need it in the knockout stages."


South Africa
- Hashim Amla, Quinton de Kock, Rilee Rossouw, AB de Villiers (captain), David Miller, JP Duminy, Farhaan Behardien, Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel, Imran Tahir

UAE - Amjad Ali, Andri Berenger, Khurram Khan, Shaiman Anwar, Swapnil Patel, Saqlain Haider, Amjad Javed, Mohammad Naveed, Mohammad Tauqir (captain), Fahad Alhashmi, Kamran Shazad


United Arab Emirates captain Mohammed Tauqir on Wednesday said South Africa's shock loss to Pakistan last week had given them a glimmer of hope as they prepare to face the Proteas.

Tauqir joked before South Africa's 29-run defeat that the only way the UAE could prevent AB de Villiers' men from scoring 400-plus was to win the toss and bat first.

But he said Pakistan's win showed the Proteas were not invincible and UAE had taken note ahead of their Pool B match in Wellington on Thursday.

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"We were not expecting South Africa to lose against Pakistan, so it's a funny game. It gave us a bit of hope," he said.

"We have good bowling and fielding. If we take some early wickets they can be put under pressure. I don't see them scoring 400 runs against us."

While the UAE's emphasis might be on containing South Africa, rather than outright victory, Tauqir said they would play positive cricket.

He said the World Cup had been "a good learning experience for the boys" who are all amateurs and will return to their day jobs after the tournament.

But he echoed calls from other "associate" non-Test playing nations for more matches against cricket's major nations, saying it was the only way they could improve their game.

"The more exposure we get, the better we become. We cannot learn by just simply watching them on TV," he said. "We need to play more cricket against them."

Tauqir also urged the ICC to review its decision to cut the number of teams at the World Cup from 14 to 10 in 2019, saying it risked hindering the game's development.

"That's not good news for our cricket... the World Cup is an ultimate goal, to participate in this event," he said.


AB de Villiers wants consistency and commitment in South Africa's final pool match against the United Arab Emirates on Thursday, aware the Proteas' stop-start form cannot continue as the tournament's knockout phase looms.

At their best, de Villiers' men have looked like world beaters, becoming the first team in history to post successive one-day international totals of 400-plus in Pool B wins over the West Indies and Ireland.

But they have also been skittled out for 177 and 202 in losses to India and Pakistan respectively, reviving memories of the hated "chokers" tag that has haunted previous World Cup campaigns.

The Proteas were many pundits' tip to lift a maiden World Cup this year but their inconsistency means bookmakers are now ranking them behind co-hosts Australia and New Zealand.

With a quarter-final against a dangerous Sri Lanka appearing likely, the UAE match presents a final chance for some South African fine-tuning.

It also has the potential to provide crucial practice for seamer Vernon Philander, who has missed the past three games with a hamstring injury.

De Villiers was at a loss to explain the Pakistan defeat and said he wanted to see an improvement against the UAE.

"Nothing was really happening at 100 percent," de Villiers said after the 29-run loss. "It was almost like a car that's been stuck in second or third gear.

"That's not going to win you cricket games, especially not under pressure and in big tournament's like this. So we need to have a chat about what maybe went wrong... and try to get to fifth gear again against the UAE."

Victory against the UAE would most likely see South Africa finish second in Pool B behind India, setting up a last eight showdown with Sri Lanka.

The teams have met only once before, when South Africa posted a 169-run win at the 1996 World Cup.

Teams and officials:

South Africa
(from): AB de Villiers (capt), Hashim Amla, Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn

United Arab Emirates (from): Mohammad Tauqir (capt), Khurram Khan, Swapnil Patil, Saqlain Haider, Amjad Javed, Shaiman Anwar, Amjad Ali, Nasir Aziz, Rohan Mustafa, Manjula Guruge, Andri Berenger, Fahad Al Hashmi, Mohammad Naveed, Kamran Shahzad, Krishna Chandran

Umpires: Rod Tucker (AUS), Steve Davis (AUS)
TV umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: Roshan Mahanama (SRI)

Weather forecast: Mostly cloudy with some rain. Maximum temperature 20 degrees Celsius