WI must beat UAE, weather and then watch
March 15, 2015
Start time 1100 (2200 GMT)
This is what it has come down to. The group stage of the World Cup will end with two Full Members, West Indies and Pakistan, fighting for their spot in the knockout phase against two Associate Members, one of which is also in contention for the quarter finals.
Their defeat to Ireland is why West Indies are hanging on by their fingernails in the first place and although they are not expected to slip up against much-less fancied UAE, even a win may not be enough. They need to win big; enough for the net run-rate to remain ahead of the team that loses between Pakistan and Ireland, although it is already significantly better than the latter. It will mean they have to be switched on and clinical. They have to score quickly, whether they are batting first or chasing, and they have to be incisive.
All of that should make UAE a little nervous, but if it has, they're not showing it. They have only had one blow-out match, against India, and given the rest of the big teams a good run. UAE may not have looked like winning many games, but they have appeared stubborn. They don't give their wickets away too easily and they bowl with good discipline so they make themselves difficult to push over. Despite all that, they haven't won a match yet and they want to change before they leave the tournament.
One team desperate to go through, another desperate to go home with something to show. It has all the makings of a high-intensity match-up.
(last five matches, most recent first)
West Indies LLWWL
In the spotlight
Which West Indies side show up to play a game is often known long before any balls are bowled or run are scored. You can see it in the body language . Emotions, either positive or negative, can be easy to spot and you can often immediately see when they are up for a game and when they are not. They know how important this contest is so expect to see either fight and fury from the get go, or a signs they are willing to say farewell.
UAE have showed potential with bat and ball in the tournament and now want to step up in the fielding department too. Some clumsy misses in the outfield in their previous game against South Africa and dropped catches throughout the tournament have let them down and Mohammad Tauqir wants to see more commitment and athleticism from his men.
With aggression the buzz-word of Jason Holder's pre-match press conference, West Indies may go for an all-pace attack with Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle, who has been declared fit, to share the spin bowling.
West Indies (probable) 1 Dwayne Smith, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Jonathan Carter, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Lendl Simmons, 7 Darren Sammy, 8 Andre Russell, 9 Jason Holder, 10 Jerome Taylor, 11 Kemar Roach
Fahad Alhashmi has already returned home after injuring his knee against South Africa and Tauqir confirmed a replacement bowler will be the only change to their XI. Left-armer Manjula Guruge is likely to slot in.
UAE (probable) 1 Amjad Ali, 2 Andri Berenger, 3 Khurram Khan, 4 Shaiman Anwar, 5 Swapnil Patel, 6 Saqlain Haider (wk), 7 Amjad Javed, 8 Mohammad Naveed, 9 Mohammad Tauqir, 10 Kamran Shahzad, 11 Manjula Guruge
Pitch and conditions
There should be plenty of runs on offer from the surface but mitigating circumstances overhead could make it difficult. A cloudy day is forecast as tropical Cyclone Pam makes its way towards New Zealand. The major rains should only arrive on Monday but some showers are forecast for game day as well.
Stats and trivia
- West Indies and UAE have never played each other in an ODI before.
- Lendl Simmons need 54 runs to reach 2000 in ODIs
- Shaiman Anwar remains comfortably the leading Associate batsman at the World Cup with 309 runs at 61.80
"I've learnt a lot about the game in general. It's been a very good challenge. It's opened up my eyes a lot. I've put up my hand and lead from the from as well. It would be fitting to qualify for the quarter final."
Jason Holder reflects on his first tournament as captain
"Winning is important but it's not everything. Playing good cricket is equally important and in this game luck also plays a role. We have been a bit unlucky. We wanted to win one or two games and we came very close. We're looking forward to tomorrow's game and ending on a high."
Mohammad Tauqir hopes the cricketing gods are smiling on UAE as they sign off
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent