UAE rally with the bat but can't match Windies' 357/4.
Chris Gayle and Shimron Hetmyer had a party in their Group A match at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, hitting quick centuries to help Windies score 357/4 and lead them to a 60-run win against United Arab Emirates.
UAE gallantly saw out their 50 overs, Rameez Shahzad finishing not out on 112 for the third century of the match – but fell 60 runs shy of an ominous target. Shaiman Anwar hit a brisk 64 and Adnan Mufti chipped in with a breezy 45 but both fell to Windies captain Jason Holder, who was the stand-out bowler with 5/53 from his 10 overs.
Earlier, Gayle had opened the batting with Evin Lewis, and the UAE bowlers must have felt they had caught the opposition on a quiet day when the first six overs yielded just 25 runs. But Gayle took off after that, taking on Mohammad Naveed, who had returned a five-for in UAE’s earlier game against Papua New Guinea, and sending him for two sixes and a four in the seventh over.
That didn’t quite open the floodgates, though, with Lewis playing an uncharacteristically sedate innings of 31 from 49 balls before becoming the first to fall in the 17th over to Ahmed Raza, the left-arm spinner, to end the 89-run stand.
But Hetmyer walked out with intent and got going straightaway. Gayle also upped his game, and twin sixes in consecutive overs, bowled by Raza and Imran Haider, made the scoreboard race along. Rohan Mustafa, the UAE captain, fared even poorer against the rampaging opening batsman, being smashed for sixes off his first three deliveries of the 26th over soon after Gayle had brought up his century off 79 balls with a single off Naveed. At that point, Hetmyer was on a run-a-ball 17, having settled down and focused on giving Gayle the strike.
Gayle didn’t last too much longer after reaching three figures, caught by Amir Hayat off Haider for a 91-ball 123 in the 29th over. Their partnership was worth 103 runs.
But Hetmyer took charge after that in collaboration with Marlon Samuels to add another 77 runs for the third wicket. Just like Gayle had dominated the previous stand, Hetmyer did this one, with Samuels contributing just 15 before falling to Mustafa.
Shai Hope was in next, and in a belligerent mood as well, as he added a further 65 with Hetmyer, who got to his century with a double off Hayat in the 44th over, before getting out close to the end of the innings caught behind off Hayat for 127, scored off 93 balls with 14 fours and four sixes.
That still left time for Hope, who retired hurt on 35 with two balls left in the innings because of a sore knee, and Jason Holder to add to UAE’s woes with a few more lusty blows. Hope started in the field, but withdrew himself in the second over with Hetmyer taking over behind the stumps, before Windies suffered another injury blow when Sheldon Cottrell was removed from the game after aggravating something at the beginning of the 19th over.
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