United Arab Emirates – 116 for 9 in 20 overs: Swapnil Patil 30, Khurram Khan 26; Sean Williams 3-15, Sikandar Raza Butt 2-15, Tendai Chatara 2-21.
Zimbabwe – 118 for 5 in 13.4 overs: Elton Chigumbura 53*, Timycen Maruma 22*, Manjula Guruge 2-18.
Zimbabwe won by 5 wickets with 38 balls remaining.
A typically swashbuckling 53 runs by Elton Chigumbura led Zimbabwe to victory over the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and a chance to progress to the Super 10 stage of the International Cricket Council World Twenty20 tournament in Bangladesh.
Chigumbura came on with Zimbabwe 63 for 5 in 9.1 overs and his fellow batsmen failing to get partnerships going. Sibanda had just departed for 16 from 19 balls and before him Sikandar Raza Butt for 9 off 14.
Set 117 to win from their 20 overs after they had won the toss and opted to field, the Zimbabwe chase started off on the worst possible note, with opener Hamilton Masakadza bowled by Manjula Guruge for two, after facing just four balls. That left Zimbabwe 7 for one after 1.3 overs.
It got worse when captain Brendan Taylor was caught by Shaiman Anwar off the bowling of Shadeep Silva after a quickfire 15 off seven balls, two of them fours and one six. Zimbabwe were now 22 for two after 2.4 overs. Then it was 24 for three after 3.3 overs – Sean Williams giving Guruge a simple return catch without troubling the scorers off three balls.
And yet this was a side that needed not just to win but to do so within 15.4 overs so as to overtake group B leaders Ireland on net run-rate to remain in contention for the sole Super 10 ticket.
But just as he had done against the Netherlands on Wednesday when he held his nerve to grab victory for Zimbabwe from the last ball of the match, Chigumbura ably carried the team’s cause on his shoulders to secure a win, thanks in some part to Khurram Khan who dropped him in the 12th over, off medium pacer Guruge, who had accounted for Masakadza and Williams earlier.
Chigumbura used the life to post his first Twenty20 International half-century which came off 21 balls, six of them fours and three sixes. He also featured in the match-winning sixth-wicket partnership of 50 runs with Timycen Maruma, and was chosen as the player of the match, ahead of team-mate Sean Williams who had led the Zimbabwe attack with three wickets for 15 runs in four overs.
Zimbabwe’s victory left their fate hanging on the result of the last group B match, which was between Ireland and the Netherlands. And it was the Dutch who qualified for the Super 10 on net run-rate.
Together with hosts Bangladesh, who won in the other qualifying group,
they joined Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies in the Super 10 stage which began with India playing Pakistan at the Shere Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur on the outskirts of the Bangladesh capital Dhaka on Friday.