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Zimbabwe prevail in rain-affected thriller to seal clean-sweep

Zim v UAE, 4th ODI, report

Zimbabwe eased home by three wickets against United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the fourth ODI between the sides to confirm a series whitewash.

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Chasing 176, the hosts initially made excellent progress, racing to 37/0 inside seven overs before rain reduced the target to 128 in 30 overs. After the interval they found progress tougher going, with Brian Chari dismissed for 19 in the ninth over, slashing Mohammad Naveed aerially to Imran Haider at third man.

Naveed dismissed Zimbabwe’s other opener in his very next over, bowling Regis Chakabva with a perfect yorker. Sean Williams and Craig Ervine dragged Zimbabwe to 79/2, but three wickets in four balls gave the tourists the ascendancy. Zahoor Khan nicked off Ervine before Rohan Mustafa bowled each of Williams and new man PJ Moor.

Timycen Maruma’s cameo was crucial. He smashed 35 off 20 balls, at one point hitting Mustafa for two fours and a six in three balls, and then striking Haider for a four and a six in consecutive balls. His dismissal, bowled by Shaiman Anwar, saw Zimbabwe’s nerves resurface, with Ryan Burl and Sikandar Raza scoring one run in eight balls before the former was run out after being sent back. But the damage had been done, and two boundaries in four balls saw them seal a three-wicket win with time to spare.

Zimbabwe recorded a 4-0 clean sweep
Zimbabwe recorded a 4-0 clean sweep

UAE could take heart from their effort with the ball, but were left too much to do after another lacklustre batting effort. They had been given a strong platform by Chirag Suri and CP Rizwan, who helped them up to 91/2. But each was dismissed short of their half-centuries, and no one was able to provide a final flourish.

Muhammad Usman chipped in with a 24-ball 27, but on the whole Zimbabwe kept things tight, with Williams proving especially economical, rattling through 10 overs to finish with 2/27. UAE’s 175 never looked like enough, and hard though they fought, it proved to be the case.

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