2015 ICC World Cup: Holder puts West Indies in sight of quarterfinals

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March 15, 2015

Brief Scorecard: West Indies 176 for 4 (Charles 55, Carter 50*) beat UAE 175 (Aziz 60, Javed 56, Holder 4-27) by six wickets

Jason Holder celebrates a wicket, United Arab Emirates v West Indies, World Cup 2015, Group B, Napier, March 15, 2015

March 15, 2015

Brief Scorecard: West Indies 176 for 4 (Charles 55, Carter 50*) beat UAE 175 (Aziz 60, Javed 56, Holder 4-27) by six wickets

Jason Holder celebrates a wicket, United Arab Emirates v West Indies, World Cup 2015, Group B, Napier, March 15, 2015

NAPIER, NEW ZEALAND: The penultimate group stage clash of the 2015 World Cup that pitted West Indies against the United Arab Emirates was a do-or-die encounter for Jason Holder’s men. West Indies knew they needed to win, and win big, to keep their hopes of a quarterfinal berth alive.

Led by Holder himself, who returned 4 for 27 in 10 overs to keep UAE to 175, West Indies cantered to a six-wicket win in just 30.3 overs at the McLean Park on Sunday (March 15). Now, unless the ongoing Ireland-Pakistan match ends in a tie or is washed out, West Indies will make their way into the quarterfinals, having raised their net run-rate above both the other teams.

West Indies had walked into this Pool B encounter with only four points against their name, while both Pakistan and Ireland have six each. They thus needed to win big and hope for a result either way in the other match, and with this win, they have taken care of what was in their hands.

The team rallied around the stout-hearted Holder to fashion the win even though Chris Gayle was missing injured with a sore back, with half-centuries for Johnson Charles and Jonathan Carter adding to a good bowling performance.

The West Indies pacers walked the talk right from the outset, reducing UAE to 46 for 6 in the 14th over. However, Amjad Javed (56) and Nasir Aziz (60) got together to script a 107-run partnership for the seventh wicket to help UAE post 175 in 47.4 overs, leaving West Indies with the task of getting to the target in 36.2 overs to go past Pakistan’s net run-rate of -0.19.

With Gayle absent, the Caribbean side needed a new hero at the top of the order. They found them in Charles, the 26-year old St. Lucian who replaced Gayle in the playing XI, and Carter, who both ensured the target was achieved well within the net run-rate parameter.

Charles smashed 55 off 40, while Carter, in at No.4, stayed till the end with 50 not out off 58.

Johnson Charles plays through the offside, United Arab Emirates v West Indies, World Cup 2015, Group B, Napier, March 15, 2015

Earlier, Dwayne Smith’s disappointing run in the tournament continued, with an edge off Manjula Guruge going to the wicketkeeper early in the chase. That brought Charles and Marlon Samuels together with West Indies 33 for 1 in the fourth over.

Samuels, who has been among the runs in the tournament so far, looked extremely uncomfortable in negotiating the late swing the UAE bowlers managed to extract. He was eventually dismissed after scoring just 9 off 18 balls, bringing Carter to the crease.

Charles and Carter didn’t hesitate to use the aerial route, but also turned the strike over with ones and twos. They added a brisk 56 for the third wicket off just 46 balls to put West Indies on course.

By the time Charles fell in the 16th over, West Indies needed just 67 more for victory. Andre Russell was sent to give the innings a boost, but he fell for just 7. However, Denesh Ramdin’s unbeaten 50-ball 33 provided the steadying influence as he and Carter finished off the chase.

Jonathan Carter hits down the ground, United Arab Emirates v West Indies, World Cup 2015, Group B, Napier, March 15, 2015

The day had begun with Holder and Jerome Taylor unleashing fiery opening spells to rock UAE early, removing Andri Berenger, Amjad Ali, Krishna Chandran, Khurram Khan and Shaiman Anwar inside the mandatory Power Play, leaving UAE tottering at 26 for 5 in just the ninth over.

Berenger was the first to go, caught behind by Ramdin off Holder's bowling. Six balls later, Chandran edged one to Smith at first slip to give the West Indies captain his second wicket.

There was swing on offer, and the pacers exploited it well, removing Amjad, trapped leg before, and Khurram, clean bowled by Taylor in the seventh over.

Even Shaiman, who has been the most successful batsman for UAE in this competition, had a rare off-day, bowled by a brilliantly directed yorker from Taylor. Holder almost replicated that delivery in the 14th over to go past Swapnil Patil's defense, and made it 46 for 6.

Amjad and Aziz then got together for what looked like an attempt at only delaying the inevitable. But West Indies were in for a surprise as the duo scripted the highest partnership for UAE against a Test nation in ODIs.

Both Amjad and Aziz reached half centuries around the same time, taking UAE past the 150-run mark before Russell finally broke the resistance with a fast yorker that went straight past Amjad's defenses in the 41st over.

Aziz and Mohammad Naveed, the No. 9 batsman, carried on the good work for sometime, but things started to fall apart once again after the big partnership was broken, and the tail didn’t wag for long, leaving West Indies with a straightforward chase.


Courtesy: Wisden India