UAE put Zimbabwe on the brink of elimination from the World Cup Qualifiers when they pulled off a sensational three-run (D/L method) win at the Harare Sports Club ground yesterday.
Set a revised target of 230 in 40 overs in the rain-interrupted game, Zimbabwe required 15 runs from the final over, but they could manage just 11 runs, handing UAE their first win in the Super Sixes.
The defeat left today's Afghanistan-Ireland game as a winner-takes-all affair. The winner will join West Indies in next year's World Cup. A tie or no result, which is very unlikely, can only revive Zimbabwe's hopes.
It was fantastic win for the UAE lightweights against the one of the pre-tournament favourites. They posted a fighting 235 for seven in 47.4 overs before rain intervened. Rameed Shazad scored a fine 59 and wicketkeeper-batsman Ghulam Shabber struck 40 before Mohammed Naveed hit a quick-fire 22 off 10 balls.
The right-arm pace bowler struck early in the Zimbabwe chase, dismissing both the openers cheaply. He then returned in the death over to finish with three for 40. He also bowled the last over to famously win the game for the desert Kingdom.
Sean Williams struck a fabulous 80 but did not find support at the other end. Zimbabwe's hopes of a turnaround were effectively dashed when Rohan Mostafa dismissed both Willimas and Sikandar Raza (34) in quick succession.
SCORES IN BRIEF
UAE: 235 for 7 in 47.5 overs (Mustafa 31, Shabber 40, Shahzad 59, Shaiman 33, Naveed 22 not out; Chatara 2-49, Raza 3-41)
ZIMBABWE: 226 for 7 in 40 overs (Moor 39, Williams 80, Raza 34, Ervine 22 not out; Naveed 3-40, Mustafa 2-56)
Result: UAE won by 3 runs (D/L method)
Player-of-the-match: Mohammad Naveed.