The Chevrons suffered a shock 3-runs defeat at the hands of minnows UAE, a result which effectively meant they are out of the running for the 2019 World Cup.
By SportBrief Reporter
Zimbabwe’s hopes of qualifying for next year’s World Cup were dealt a bitter blow by the United Arab Emirates as the hosts suffered a 3 runs (DLS Method) defeat.
Going into the match, Zimbabwe were the favourites in what was a must win encounter against a team that lay at the bottom of the Super Sixes table, having lost all four of their previous matches.
Having won the toss and elected to bat first, the hosts did make a bright start when Brian Chatara accounted for the UAE opener Ashfaq Ahmed with the visitors on 18/1.
But as was the case against the West Indies, the Chevrons bowling attack flattered to deceive again as the Arabs put up 74 runs for the second wicket.
Wickets were few and far between for the hosts and the visitors were able to build a strong base with Ghulam Shabber (40) and Rameez Shahzad (59) taking it all in their strides. Although Sikander Raza and Brian Chatara were able to account for the two danger men, the visitors had already settled on solid ground, reaching 180/4.
A late blitz ensued fr the Chevrons as they took 3 more quick wickets but the UAE rallied late to post 235/7 in 47.5 overs before rain stopped play.
When play resumed, the hosts run chase was reduced to 230 in 40 overs courtesy of the DLS method and they made a horrendous start, losing three early wickets in the form of Solomon Mire (6), Hamilton Masakadza (7) and Brendan Taylor (15) to leave them in trouble at 45-3.
In stepped Sean Williams and together with Peter Moor the pair put up a resolute 79-run stand before the latter departed for a spirited 39 runs. Sikander Raza (34) joined in the fight before falling short off the bowling of Mustafa.
Mustafa was at it again as he claimed the scalp of danger-man Williams (80) and with Naveed bowling out the Chevrons captain Graeme Cremer for a duck, things were beginning to look gloomy for the host at 209/7.
Kyle Jarvis and Craig Ervine kept the scoreboard ticking but with the run rate running away for them, it felt like they were fighting a lost cause. The game went right to the wire, with Ervine needing six runs off the last ball but Ervine swung and couldn’t quite get a good hit and he only managed a double.
That loss effectively sealed their fate as it meant that Zimbabwe will not be participating in next year’s World Cup.