UAE reach 175 in World Cup match, Windies blow strong start
NAPIER, New Zealand (AP) — The West Indies may have let slip a chance to force their way into the Cricket World Cup quarterfinals when they allowed the United Arab Emirates to escape from an early batting collapse to reach 175 in a crucial Pool B match on Sunday.
Currently fifth in the group, the West Indies needed to win as quickly and emphatically as possible Sunday to lift their chances of reaching the knockout rounds, by improving their net run-rate and by ending the match before an advancing tropical cyclone has a chance to wash out play.
Captain Jason Holder did everything he could to further his team’s cause, taking 4-24 to have UAE reeling at 26-5 in the ninth over.
But Nasir Aziz (60) and Amjad Javed (56) made maiden half centuries in a record 107-run partnership for the seventh wicket which may have threatened the West Indies a place in the knockout rounds.
The West Indies were full of energy after winning the toss and as Holder and Jerome Taylor crashed through the UAE’s to order, but their urgency seemed to drain away as the UAE’s resistance took hold.
The bowlers lost their edge and stopped bowling to their fields while the fielding became sloppy. There appeared to be discord among the players and Holder had to work harder to exert his authority.
His predecessor as captain, Darren Sammy, seemed likely to play a vital part with the ball as one of the West Indies’ most-experienced bowlers but he bowled only one over before being removed from the attack.
The West Indies were already without master batsman Chris Gayle, who was omitted because of injury, reducing their ability to execute a high-tempo run chase.
After being 46-6 in the 13th over, Javed and Aziz allowed the UAE to bat deep into their overs.
Aziz reached his maiden ODI half century from 70 balls with six fours. He was playing in his third ODI but had never previously batted.
Javed reached a maiden ODI half century from 91 balls with six fours and a six.
The pair raised their 100 partnership — and the highest partnership for the UAE against a test-playing nation — from 150 balls, surpassing the record mark of 94 against India in 1994.
The partnership was worth 107 when Javed was bowled by Andre Russellin the 41st over with the total 153-7. Aziz continued briefly but was out with the total at 167-9.
There is also the increasing prospect of the weather disrupting the match — the West Indies would be left in fifth place if the game becomes a washout.