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UAE Best Score with Khurran & Anwar Blast

February 19th, 2015 | by admin
UAE Best Score with Khurran & Anwar Blast

UAE 285 for 7 (Anwar 67, Khurram 45, Chatara 3-42) v Zimbabwe

UAE brought middle age and amateurism to the World Cup in registering their highest ODI total. Their talisman, 43-year-old Khurram Khan, is older than their coach Aaqib Javed and one of the commentators at the match Shaun Pollock. He steadied them from 40 for 2 with a fluent 45 off 55, but if that was expected the 35-year-old Shaiman Anwar surprised with an attacking 67 off 50 – his personal best – when it seemed UAE might end in a whimper.

After being put in on a flat track and small outfield, UAE began their first World Cup innings in 19 years in nervous fashion. Almost every ball in the first few overs seemed like it would produce a wicket, but luck was on UAE’s side. Edges fell short or clear, a catch was dropped, a wicket fell off a no-ball, and yet UAE found themselves down 40 for 2 in the 11th over. Despite all the good fortune, Zimbabwe were the favourites to get UAE out for a total below par.

Khurram, though, had other ideas. In the company of Krishna Chandran he went about rescuing the innings. The two added 82 for the third wicket in 16.2 overs. Chandran wasn’t the most fluent, but Khurram, an air traffic controller when not playing cricket, batted with confidence and with a level head. Khurram’s class was on display from the moment he cover-drove the third ball he faced for four. Three more boundaries followed in the next 11 balls, but then Zimbabwe began to exercise some control with disciplined middle-overs bowling.

Just as the Batting Powerplay approached, both the settled batsmen got themselves out, to the first balls of new spells from Solomon Mire and Tendai Chatara. Anwar and wicketkeeper Swapnil Patil, though, made sure the Powerplay didn’t go to waste with another 82-run partnership in 11.3 overs. Anwar, who handles luggage at airports for a living, was the hero, dominating the Powerplay in which they took 48 runs without losing a wicket. He didn’t begin as smoothly as Khurram, reaching only 7 off 12, before getting stuck into the Powerplay bowling.

Zimbabwe, who had been blown away in the final few overs by David Miller in their first match, didn’t look too ruffled this time. They did the bare minimum by staying away from real loose deliveries, and the soft wickets arrived with catches to cover, mid-on, and an open face into the keeper’s hand. Yet their bowling fell away after the spell of three wickets for 16 runs in 15 balls. Mohammad Naveed and Amjad Javed swung their bats towards the end, and added 53 in the last 5.5 overs, including lusty blows over cover by Javed.

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