Zimbabwe v UAE, World T20, Group B, Sylhet March 20, 2014

Zimbabwe eye unlikely progress

Match facts

March 21, 2014, Sylhet

Start time 1130 (0530GMT)

Big Picture

This match could mean everything or it could mean nothing. It's a possible dead rubber before the final shootout, or the decider in a group that has been kept alive by Zimbabwe taking both their games to the final ball. They've provided excitement but their fate does not lie in their own hands.

To play in the main draw, Zimbabwe have to win their final match and win big. Then they have to hope Ireland succumb to a big enough defeat against Netherlands so that neither their run-rate nor Netherlands' trumps Zimbabwe. Calculators, rather than cricket equipment, could end up deciding who goes through.

Zimbabwe will see an opportunity to do the first of those things. UAE have not been the competitive force they would have hoped to be, and lost to both Netherlands and Ireland. But Zimbabwe will have to shake off the penchant to play to their opposition's level, convince themselves they are a few tiers above UAE, and march to a comprehensive victory to give themselves a chance. Even then, if that happens, all they can do is wait.

UAE do not stand to gain anything from this match but respect. They are out of contention to play with the big eight and have admitted they are team that is still learning. This is their chance to show what they've gleaned so far.

Form guide

(completed matches, most recent first)

Zimbabwe WLLLL

Watch out for

Brendan Taylor is the team's leading run-scorer, and Tinashe Panyangara, their leading wicket-taker, but Zimbabwe's silent assassins have also done an important job for them. Prosper Utseya opens the bowling and his spell against Netherlands showed how successful he can be upfront. He took 2 for 16 to set them back in the powerplay. Sean Williams has partnered twice to usher the batting line-up to a respectable score, although the pressure got to him against Netherlands. If he can overcome that, he can be a key middle-order man for Zimbabwe.

UAE have not had much in the way of individual achievement in this tournament. None of their batsmen have managed a half-century and only four bowlers have found themselves among the wickets. Rohan Mustafa is not one of them, but he does have the lowest economy rate among his team-mates. Mustapha has gone for only 5.56 runs an over and it's no fluke. His economy rate in domestic cricket is almost as miserly at 5.82. He'll hope he can translate that pressure into success in his final match.

Team news

Zimbabwe may still want to tinker with their opening duo after Sikandar Raza was out cheaply in both matches. With Vusi Sibanda in decent touch, he could be promoted back to a position he is comfortable in to make room for Malcolm Waller down the order. With Timycen Maruma acting only as a fielder in the last match, Zimbabwe may give Shingi Masakadza a game.

Zimbabwe: 1 Hamilton Masakadza 2 Sikandar Raza/Vusi Sibanda, 3 Brendan Taylor (cpt, wk), 4 Vusi Sibanda/Malcolm Waller, 5 Sean Williams, 6 Elton Chigumbura, 7 Timycen Maruma/Shingi Masakadza, 8 Prosper Utseya, 9 Tinashe Panyangara, 10 Tendai Chatara, 11 Natsai Mushnagwe

For one last hurrah, UAE may look to mix it up a touch as they say goodbye to the tournament.

UAE squad: 1 Amjad Ali, 2 Faizan Asif, 3 Khurram Khan, 4 SP Patil, 5 Shaiman Anwar, 6 Amjad Javed, 7 Rohan Mustapha, 8 V Shetty, 9 Ahmed Raza, 10 Kamran Shahzad, 11 Sharif Asadullah, 12 Manjula Guruge, 13 Moaaz Qazi, 14 Rohit Singh, 15 Shadeep Silva


After a first match day in which 180-plus scores appeared par on the Sylhet surface, the second day's play at the venue saw much lower scores and more difficult conditions for batting. There was more turn on offer and the bounce was lower. Should it stay that way, even lower totals can be expected for Friday's matches. Rain brought an early end to the Ireland-UAE match and more can be expected between 3pm and 6pm on Friday with temperatures at a high of 29 degrees.

Stats and Trivia

  • The most Zimbabwe have scored in a T20 match is 200 for 2 against New Zealand in a game they lost. The lowest total they have defended is 105, against West Indies in 2010.

  • UAE have only played two T20 matches classed as full internationals, both at this World T20 qualifier.


    "We need to regroup, have a good fielding session and come back on Friday and try and get all three departments right. If we do that, we are going to be tough to beat."

    After Zimbabwe showed improvements in both batting and bowling against Netherlands Brendan Taylor wants to see them to do the same with their fielding

    "We have not been exposed to such a stage so obviously we are going to learn a lot from here."

    Khurram Khan hopes he will feel more schooled in international cricket after this tournament

    Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

  • Comments have now been closed for this article

    • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 5:52 GMT

      honestly being a zimbabwean myself,the truth is we dont deserve to qualify,lreland shud qualify shud they win today. l find it mindboggling aftr wasting so much energy n time fighting n not practicing we still except to qualify,we jst dnt deserve until such tym we put proper structures in place.This dismal perfomance is nt th first tym 2012 check how dismally we perfomed unfortunately we never seem to learn bt still expect results,what a shame. same old tired useless brains same shameful n disgusting results. chingoka n company are killing our cricket n they shud jst do the honourable thng n throw in th towel only then cn we expect continuity n better result nt ths rubbish

    • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 5:34 GMT

      C'mon Zim, be absolutely ruthless today. We need to progress.

    • Dummy4 on March 20, 2014, 19:57 GMT

      In fact, earlier calculations were wrong. Assuming the Dutch win by 1 run or on the last ball, Zim need to win by just 19 runs, or achieve a UAE total of, say, 120 in 17.3overs. Not too far-fetched at all.

    • Dummy4 on March 20, 2014, 19:22 GMT

      The equation is fairly simple for Zimbabwe to progress: bat first and win by at least 33 runs then hope that Netherlands beat Ireland by any margin (as long as it is less than Zim's victory margin). If Zim win by fewer than 33 runs, then the Dutch must beat the Irish by however many runs they are short of 33. eg Zim win by 20 runs then Dutch must win by at least 13 runs (but not more than 21). It's a bit more variable if the UAE bat first: if UAE score 120 then Zim must reach it in 15.4 overs; if UAE score 150 then Zim's target is 16.1 overs to pass Ireland's net run rate. Go the Zimbos, viva the Dutch.

    • SURESH on March 20, 2014, 17:44 GMT

      Ireland is +22 runs , Zimbabwe +5 runs and Netherland 0 runs , so it is wrong to say Zimbabwe face unlikely progress ,the difference in net run rate is certainly not huge.Zimbabwe should try to win and hope ireland loses. Morever even Netherland can reach the final group by winning the match against Ireland by at least 22 runs and hope that their win is 5 runs bigger than Zimbabwe's win

    • siddhartha on March 20, 2014, 16:59 GMT

      Zim should try to win it as big as possible. Netherland has the potential to beat Ireland.To be honest both Zim and Ireland are good enough for next round.Damn it should be super 12

    • Joe on March 20, 2014, 14:37 GMT

      @fr600 I think you will find the associates are proving they deserve it! If Zim cannot do it on the park they should not expect the associates to give them anything.

    • Fahad on March 20, 2014, 12:48 GMT

      I want ZIM to qualify. The associates are expecting too much nowadays.

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