The West Indies are into the quarterfinals of the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup after they crushed minnows United Arab Emirates (UAE) at McLean Park, Napier, New Zealand, yesterday.
After a four-wicket burst from skipper Jason Holder and a three-wicket haul by Jerome Taylor had restricted the UAE to 175 all out in 47.5 overs, the West Indies romped home at 176 for four, in 30.3 overs, to book a date with New Zealand in the quarterfinals on March 21.
Needing to get the target in less than 36.2 overs to guarantee qualification, the West Indies went after the bowling from ball one. They even took the powerplay as soon as the tenth over was finished. Their win made the Pakistan/Ireland clash irrelevant. Pakistan later whipped to join them in the quarters.
Johnson Charles, playing his first match of the tournament, put away his muscular shots to take the game away from the Middle Easterners. He cracked 55 off 40 balls with nine fours and two sixes. Also among the runs were Jonathan Carter with an unbeaten 50 off 58 balls with five fours, and Denesh Ramdin 33 not out off 50 balls with two fours.
Holder won the toss and with the rain threatening, opted to bowl first. He was vindicated in the decision with a brilliant display of seam bowling. Looking to hit the top of off stump, Holder held an impeccable line with conditions favouring seam movement.
He started by sending back Amjad Ali for five, followed up with Andri Berenger for seven and added Krishna Chandran without scoring, his third duck of the tournament. When the Barbadian had finished his burst, the score was 17–3. The UAE’s best batsman this tournament, Khurram Khan, greeted Taylor with an attractive square cut for four. Next ball, Khan lost his leg-stump, as the Jamaican produced a beautiful in-swinger to put the minnows in more trouble.
Taylor followed up with another brilliant in-swinger to account for Shaiman Anwar and at 26 for five, the fans would have been looking for a refund. Holder added the wicket off Swapnil Patel (6) to make it 46 for six.
What happened next, no one could have scripted it. A cargo loader and an employee of an energy company in Sharjah got together to create a World Cup record partnership for the sixth wicket, to bring some respectability to the total.
Amjad Javed, who works for Emirates Airlines as a loader, decided to delay the West Indies flight to victory with a stubborn 56 and he found an able partner in Nasir Aziz, who had the energy to work with him, while getting a topscore of 60.
The two added 107 runs for the seventh wicket which equalled the highest previous mark of 107 which was realised by Javed and Anwar earlier in this tournament against Ireland.
The West Indies team went flat and looked disinterested during this association. It took all-rounder Andre Russell to break the stand when he got Javed for 56 off 99 balls with seven fours and a six. Samuels accounted for Aziz for 60 off 86 balls with eight fours—he has previously only struck 12 fours in his career to date before this innings.
In the end, six batsmen were bowled and marked the first occasion since the 1979 Prudential World Cup in England.