PREVIEW: Zimbabwe’s loss against Windies on Monday didn’t just snap the home side’s unbeaten streak in the tournament. It also put them in a dangerous position going into their final Super Sixes match of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018. Win against United Arab Emirates, and they’ll be travelling to England next year. Lose, and they’re out, their impressive tournament so far amounting to nothing. Brendan Taylor put it quite succinctly after the Windies game: “For us, it’s basically a final.”
Zimbabwe were below par against Windies. Their batsmen collapsed early, and though Taylor’s century pushed them to a position of strength, a flurry of wickets late in the death meant they were restricted to 299, when something in excess of 320 had seemed possible. With the ball as well, Zimbabwe, by Taylor’s own admission, weren’t “sharp enough”.
Despite that, the home side will look to take the positives. Taylor’s second century of the tournament certainly qualifies. As does the fact that they reached within four wickets and six balls of securing victory, despite a poor performance. They have that one sub-par display out of the way now, at minimal cost, and their fate rests in their own hands.
Zimbabwe: Solomon Mire, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sikandar Raza, Sean Williams, Peter Moor, Graeme Cremer, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Blessing Muzarabani.
UAE: Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Ghulam Shabber, Rameez Shahzad, Shaiman Anwar, Mohammad Usman, Adnan Mufti, Ahmed Raza, Mohammad Naveed, Amir Hayat, Qadeer Ahmed.
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