Zimbabwe v UAE, World T20, Group B, Sylhet March 21, 2014

Chigumbura keeps Zimbabwe alive


Zimbabwe 118 for 5 (Chigumbura 53*, Guruge 2-18) beat UAE 116 for 9 (Williams 3-15, Raza 2-15) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

In a must-win match against UAE, Zimbabwe found themselves in a spot of bother more than once, but Elton Chigumbura's belted a quickfire 53 from No. 6 to complete the chase in 13.4 overs. The win lifted Zimbabwe's net run-rate above Ireland's, moving the attention firmly to the Ireland v Netherlands match.

Facing the twin opponents - UAE and the pressure of upping their net run-rate - Zimbabwe lost two of their best batsmen in no time: Hamilton Masakadza heaved at a straight delivery from Manjula Guruge in the second over only to see his stumps flattened and Brendan Taylor, after laying out his plans bare with a couple of lofted boundaries, was brilliantly caught by Shaiman Anwar running backwards from mid-off. The script threatened to go horribly wrong for Zimbabwe, as 22 for 2 soon became 34 for 4.

Chigumbura though avoided the embarrassment with a fantastic riposte. He opened his account with a six and a four in his first two balls, and maintained the same intensity throughout his innings. His last shot - a straight six - not only took Zimbabwe over the line, it also brought him his half-century off 21 balls.

UAE have looked every bit an amateur side among professionals in this tournament and while that makes for a good story, it doesn't really translate to good cricket. Hong Kong's unlikely win over Bangladesh, however, seemed to have given UAE the will to fight. Anwar's catch to dismiss Taylor was an indicator, so was Kamran Shazad's catch at deep cover to send Sikandar Raza back (two nights ago, they dropped a number of simple chances). Once Chigumbura took the bowling on though, the familiar problems started showing up. Misfields. Drops. In the end, UAE didn't really have much cushion.

They had batted well in the first half of the innings. The period between the second and the tenth overs, when Khurram Khan and Swapnil Patil were batting, gave them hope of a competitive total. The two started tentatively, scoring ten runs in the first 20 deliveries of the partnership, before Patil opened up in the sixth over of the innings with three boundaries.

The aggression rubbed off on Khurram. He was on 3 off 12 balls before he hit his first boundary - a powerful sweep off Natsai Mushangwe's first delivery - and followed it up with a couple of beautifully executed inside-out drives in Mushangwe's next over that went for 16. From a lowly 17 for 2 at the end of five overs, UAE propped up their run rate to 6.88 in a matter of four overs.

The hopes quickly dwindled though as UAE slipped to 75 for 7 from 66 for 2 in the space of 25 balls. It worsened to 88 for 8 as the spin-combo of Sean Williams and Raza snared five batsmen between them, including Khurram and Patil, who had added 58 for the third wicket. Khurram was the first to go, top-edging a sweep to deep square leg off Williams. Five balls later, Patil played around a Raza delivery and was trapped in front. The rest of the batting lacked the skill to counter the spinner and proved to be sitting ducks. Was it not for the 27-run stand between Shazad and Shadeep Silva, UAE would have struggled to make it to three figures.

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Graham on March 21, 2014, 17:26 GMT

    It needed an all or nothing performance from Zimbabawe , they were not up to it , Netherlands showed the right attitude on the day. Not qualifying is the right result , the Zim team have had no exposure to this level of cricket , warming up at home against each other was rubbish...no atmosphere, no crowds and no unknown opponents , and while striking for unpaid wages, What next for these players? First class franchise cricket at home , at a very low standard ...not looking good.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 17:05 GMT

    again we can see the failure of ZC in many ways, recently we have lost Kyle Javi, Craig Ervine, Graeme Cremer, Garry ballance who prefers England, our own black captaion Tatenda Taibu, how are we going to improve if we keep on losing players at this rate how? Honestly im puzzled Taylor is still around becauz he doesnt deserve this. Why is it so hard for ZC to learn n correct its mistakes why mahn???

    l am dying to see my country competing fiecely as we used to do. Really we need a new way of thinking to revive this game otherwise come 2015, first round we ar out again. its gud the ICC came up wth ths format of qualify for Zim and Ban, we need to up our game and prove that we deserve to be there and not make numbers lyk wat is happenning now. Now SA and AUS are coming and we are going to be the whipping boys in our own backyard and i know for sure nothing lyk nothing will be done to prepare for this except financial squabbles one after the other bcz of mismagement by the ZC.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 16:41 GMT

    now that we have been ousted by associates whats going through the Zim cricket management now. a raft of measures ar needed because honestly we cant continue in this road. it was the same with the under 19 they perfomed dismally and now the senior team, its same order. surel the management should admit they are failing the country, we all know that the issue is not talent bt poor and very poor adminstration which alwys has a host of ecxuses evrytym. We should learn from our neighbour SA how are they doing it?

    Our first class cricket is in shambles becaz of lack of sponsorship. i attribute all this to Chingoka, he should just leave mahn and give others a chance to adminster this game, he has failed not only did he fail but destroyed the gang together with his gang from takashinga. they are many better cricketers who are not given a chance but we keep on rotating a bunch of incompetent palyers like sibanda maruma, its so frustrating.

  • mahjut on March 21, 2014, 15:42 GMT

    MeijiMura, your safe prediction that Zim would struggle in their games (little confidence, little practice, player issues and not least this IS T20!!) is possibly worth mentioning. however, far more interesting would be what your predictions were ("Prior to the start of the tournament") regarding the final group table? Did you have Ireland at the top? My guess is you had Ireland, Zim, Ned then UAE which means you got it COMPLETELY wrong! :).

    Zim do not look strong re 50 over cricket. The batting will prolly remain as in this T20WC (although who wouldn't rather see Mutumbami in the place of Maruma?). Not sure what has happened to Chigs's bowling - and Meth seems to be lost now - but Chatara, at least, has been a very good find. Vitori will return to the side and he 'can' be very good, Mpofu is another lost soul so I guess they will stick with Panyangara (the longer the version. the better he is)- and that's Zim atm - the side won't beat many test sides, but 'should' beat the associates

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 15:11 GMT

    The best team qualified to the nxt stage,l pray that this serves as a serious lesson in future,we need to prepare n do the rght thngz how can a team turn down three series wth sril lanka, s.a and afganstan all because they didnt hev money. this administration is pathetic n disgusting. I urge thz people to retire and give other people who are passionate n willing to devlop th game a chance. with current admin i see us going nowhere infact drowning to the abyss

  • Justin on March 21, 2014, 12:58 GMT

    The victory to the Netherlands over Ireland meaning that they qualified ahead of Zimbabwe is a devastating blow for the cash-strapped Zimbabweans. Prior to the start of the tournament I said Zimbabwe would struggle in all of their games and that turned out to be the case with the exception of the UAE who aren't up to international standard with their pathetic catching, ground fielding and running between the wickets which are all below club cricket standard yet alone international standard whilst their batting and bowling showed promise at times but lacked any sort of consistency. Zimbabwe will be desperately hoping for a better showing at the World Cup next year. A positive for them is that they will play the UAE again so that will be at least one win for them. Whether they can beat Ireland or anyone else in their group remains to be seen. They had a chance here and weren't up to it. Ireland dominated for much of the game against Zimbabwe before almost losing at the end, but still won.

  • disco on March 21, 2014, 12:30 GMT

    @Davies Stephano Mobbison @wapuser, well you both got your wish, Ireland were well beaten, unfortunately for you too well beaten. As they say be careful what you wish for.

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 11:48 GMT

    Zimbabwe lost to Ireland was heart breaking...

  • Dummy4 on March 21, 2014, 11:36 GMT

    Well played Zim. Needs more hardwork to play good cricket in future...

  • ESPN on March 21, 2014, 10:25 GMT

    Good luck Zimbabwe #respect From BD

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