Moor, Chakabva star as Zimbabwe edge UAE in rain-hit match
A superb fighting partnership of 93 between PJ Moor (45 not out) and Regis Chakabva (78 not out) took Zimbabwe from the brink of defeat to an exciting victory by just four runs (Duckworth-Lewis method) over the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the second one-day international played at Harare Sports Club on Friday.
Despite a magnificent bowling performance by Kyle Jarvis at the start of the match, the UAE made a fine recovery and set Zimbabwe a target in a rain-spoiled match that they looked unlikely to reach until the last few minutes.
On an overcast morning, after some rain during the night, the hosts again won the toss and put the tourists in to bat.
The day was marred by news of the death of Don Arnott, an outstanding wicketkeeper and umpire and Zimbabwe Cricket’s first chief executive officer, at the age of 83.
After this a little drizzle began, delaying the start by 15 minutes.
Ashfaq Ahmed took a single off Jarvis’ first delivery, but his partner, the left-handed Rohan Mustafa, looked quite desperate against Jarvis’ bowling and it was no surprise when he popped the final ball up towards gully, where Timycen Maruma dived to take the catch.
The batsmen set themselves out to survive another fine opening burst from Jarvis and Tendai Chatara, but they had scored just 12 runs off six overs before Jarvis broke through again, bowling Ahmed off the inside edge for eight.
Four balls later Jarvis struck a third time, as Mohammad Usman, without scoring, could only edge a lifting ball to second slip; 12 for three after seven overs.
After 10 overs the score had reached 21 for three, with Ghulam Shabber on eight and Shaiman Anwar three.
In the following over Shabber flicked a ball from Jarvis over the slips for the first boundary of the innings, and then Anwar drove Chatara through the covers for four, as the UAE began to fight back.
A possible opportunity was missed as Shabber slashed at a ball from Chatara and the ball flew at catchable height through the vacant second slip position for another boundary.
Donald Tiripano replaced Jarvis, but his first ball was a long hop that Anwar slashed through point to the boundary, followed by another four off the back foot past cover.
Sikandar Raza replaced Chatara, and Anwar swept his first ball for four too, bringing up the fifty for the UAE in the 14th over.
The score quickly mounted, as the two batsmen seemed determined to take full advantage of being released from the new-ball attack.
Tiripano and Raza both went for 15 runs off the first two overs they bowled, when drinks were taken with the score 68 for three after 16 overs, with Shabber on 27 and Anwar 31.
Sean Williams replaced Raza and bowled tightly, but runs continued to pour from the other end, the team hundred coming up in the 26th over.
Anwar was the first to reach his fifty, off 61 balls, when he hit a full toss from Brandon Mavuta over long-on for the first six of the innings.
The over cost 16 runs, and at the end of it the little drizzle returned and persuaded the umpires to suspend play.
The score at this point was 122 for three after 29 overs, with Shabber on 49 and Anwar 57.
Around lunch time the rain stopped and preparations were made to restart play, but at about 1.30pm a light rain began again and the covers had to be restored.
It was not until 2.45pm that play was able to restart, under heavy cloud, and the game was reduced to 35 overs per side.
The UAE, with only six overs left now, went on the attack right from the start, hammering the previously economical Williams (six overs for 11 runs) for 13 (including a wide) in his next over.
This included Shabber’s fifty, which came off 83 balls.
Tiripano replaced Williams, and immediately had Shabber caught at deep backward point off a big reverse hit, for 56, scored off 88 balls.
In the next over Chatara returned and removed Anwar for 72 off 73 balls, while Mohammad Naveed hit Tiripano for six and was then also caught in the deep, going for another big hit.
In the desperate flurry for runs, Chundangapoyil Rizwan sliced his first ball to backward point, while Churag Suri was out for four to a big leg-side skyer.
Zahoor Khan should have been caught at mid-off, except that two fielders got in each other’s way and the ball was dropped.
Off the final delivery Chakabva ran out Khan for two, making the total 169 for nine after the 35 overs had been completed.
Jarvis finished with the excellent figures of four wickets for 17 runs off seven overs, while Tiripano, benefiting from the last-overs slogging, had three for 34.
Zimbabwe’s Duckworth-Lewis target was 210 off their 35 overs, six an over and not too daunting as long as they had their tactics worked out well.
Against them, however, were the changed conditions — they did not find it very easy to score quickly in the damp, with a slow outfield, and for much of their innings they were behind the required run rate.
Solomon Mire and Regis Chakabva again opened Zimbabwe’s batting against the bowling of Naveed and Qadeer Ahmed.
When Naveed pitched short, Mire pulled him for a superb six far over the midwicket boundary.
Mire was almost run out with the total at 15, too eager for a quick run off a nudge from Chakabva, but the fielders messed up their chance.
He miscued another attempted pull, though, off Zahoor Khan’s first ball, and was caught in the deep for 14 with the score on 23 in the seventh over.
Ervine played a couple of superbly timed strokes, but failed for once, hitting across a ball from Mustafa that kept rather low and being bowled by for 13; 44 for two in the 10th over.
The team fifty came up in the 12th over, Williams scoring 17 off 20 balls before being caught near the cow-corner boundary at 70 for two in the 16th over; the required run rate was now over seven an over.
Raza on eight was dropped off a difficult chance at deep square leg, but in the next over, bowled by Imran Haider, he holed out on the midwicket boundary for 11; 92 for four in the 20th over.
After 20 overs Zimbabwe had reached 94; the required run rate was 7.73 and the light was fading.
Chakabva was holding the innings together with 34 at this point, but it had taken him 58 balls.
As Moor played himself in, the required run rate continued to rise beyond eight an over.
Chakabva, trying to increase the scoring rate, was dropped near the midwicket boundary on 47, and then went to his fifty, but it had taken him 76 balls.
Moor hit a big six over long-on, and now began to hit out powerfully, but 45 runs were still needed off the last five overs in rapidly declining light.
Fourteen came off the first of these, but only six off the next, and by now the light was impossible; the players left the field in semi-darkness with three overs unbowled.
It was unclear to almost everybody at this stage who had won, but when the Duckworth-Lewis calculations were worked out, Zimbabwe were found to be four runs ahead, thanks to having lost only four wickets.
Chakabva had 78 off 101 balls and Moor 45 off 33 — against expectations they had achieved a victory that would not have been theirs had either got out.
Zimbabwe have now won twice out of four, but this match was so close that there should be a good contest in the third match on Sunday at the same venue.
United Arab Emirates – 169-8 in 35 overs (Shaiman Anwar 72, Ghulam Shabber 56, Mohammad Naveed 10; Kyle Jarvis 4/17, Donald Tiripano 3/34, Tendai Chatara 1/35)
Zimbabwe – 185-4 in 32 overs (Regis Chakabva 78*, PJ Moor 45*, Sean Williams 17; Rohan Mustafa 2/38, Zahoor Khan 1/26, Imran haider 1/40)
Zimbabwe won by four runs (Duckworth-Lewis method)