8th match, Nelson

United Arab Emirates v Zimbabwe

At Nelson, February 19, 2015. Zimbabwe won by four wickets. Toss: Zimbabwe.
Three days after Ireland's victory over West Indies, the UAE threatened to topple a Test nation for the first time. When Mire edged Mohammad Naveed behind, Zimbabwe were 167 for five, needing another 119 at nearly seven an over. But Williams and Ervine approached the equation with calmness and skill, and the batting powerplay yielded a risk free 45. Even when Ervine fell, popping up a return catch to Krishnachandran, Williams's resolve remained unbroken. Shrewd placement and assiduous running defined his innings, though he sealed the win with a flourish: three consecutive fours off Naveed, who had bowled with bite on one of the tournament's most batsman-friendly grounds. Even in defeat, the UAE had proved a point. They were unrecognisable from the motley bunch who appeared in the 1996 World Cup, when Sultan Zarawani faced Allan Donald in a sunhat, and was hit on the head first ball. Their captain this time, Mohammad Tauqir - at 43 the oldest to lead a side at the World Cup - removed both openers, including Chakabva, whose back foot slipped on to the stumps as he worked him to leg. Chatara bowled with vim for Zimbabwe, but seven UAE players passed 20, aided by shoddy fielding; and though they repeatedly got out when set, 285 was their best ODI total. Batting too low at No. 6, Shaiman Anwar played with panache for 67, raising a 37-ball fifty with an emphatic straight six off Panyangara. TIM WIGMORE
Man of the Match: S. C. Williams.

© John Wisden & Co