Dubai: The UAE squandered the opportunity to beat Test-playing nation Zimbabwe after losing the 11th-place play-off of the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 Cricket World Cup at the Shaikh Zayed Stadium Nursery-1 ground on Thursday.
Though the UAE took Zimbabwe’s first five wickets for just 78 runs, the hosts let the match slip away.
Chasing a moderate total of 205, the UAE’s top-order collapsed and lost the match by 84 runs.
Speaking to Gulf News afterwards, UAE skipper Rohit Singh, who top-scored with 30, said: “It would have been nice to end the World Cup beating a Test-playing nation. We bowled well to restrict Zimbabwe, but our batting failed. Except for the 56 runs partnership between Shivank Vijayakumar and myself, we could not produce a big partnership.”
UAE medium-pacer Waruna Perera, making his youth One Day International debut, dismissed opener Joylord Gumbie for 3 in the second over of the day. Perera also trapped opener Charles Kunje leg before for nine. Kieran Geyle hit a quick 27 with four boundaries to take the score to 44 when off-spinner Moaaz Qazi had him caught by wicketkeeper Vijayakumar. Qazi also had Ryan Burl caught behind for 6.
Left-arm spinner Justin James, who bowled a good line and length, had Malcolm Lake caught and bowled for 19.
With half the side back in the pavilion for 78 by the 20th over, Zimbabwe looked likely to be bowled out for a small score. Luke Jongwe and Shoun Handirisi pulled their team out of trouble through a 77-run partnership for the sixth wicket. Qazi ended the partnership by having Handirisi caught by Chirag Suri for 38.
James kept the run flow in check and completed his 10 overs by giving away just 21 runs with three maiden overs. Qazi picked three for 35 from his ten overs. Omer Mohammad trapped Jongwe leg before after he steered Zimbabwe past the 200-run mark with a knock of 80.
Though it was a reachable total, UAE got off to a disastrous start by losing their first four batsmen for just 14 runs. Zimbabwe’s left-arm spinner Herbert Chikomba struck repeatedly. Skipper Rohit Singh and Vijayakumar put on 56 runs for the fifth wicket.
Left-arm spinner Geyle ended their partnership by dismissing both of them.
Zimbabwe bt UAE by 84 runs. Zimbabwe 205 in 50 overs (Kieran Geyle 27, Luke Jongwe 80, Shoun Handirisi 38, Waruna Perera 2 for 28, Moaaz Qazi 3 for 35, Sajid Khan 2 for 33) UAE 121 for 9 in 50 overs (Rohit Singh 30, Shivank Vijayakumar 24, Herbert Chikomba 3 for 21, Kieran Geyle 3 for 20). Player of the match: Luke Jongwe.