Nelson, Feb 19: Sean Williams' timely knock of 76 helped Zimbabwe beat a determined UAE by four wickets here today, giving the African nation their first win of the ICC World Cup.
Match Scorecard; World Cup Special
Williams' unbeaten innings off 65 balls made the difference as Zimbabwe chased down the 286-run target in 48 overs. Put in to bat, UAE posed a competitive 285 for seven which happened to be their highest ODI total.
UAE complemented their batting by making life difficult for Zimbabwe batsmen until a 83-run sixth-wicket stand between Williams and Craig Ervine (42 runs off 32 balls) took the game away from the team playing its first World Cup since 1996.
UAE sensed a famous win with Zimbabwe needing 109 off the last 90 balls and half their side back in the pavilion. That was when the experience of Williams and Ervine came into play.
They took the attack to the opposition which appeared to run out of steam after putting up a spirited show for the majority of the game. The dangerous left-handed pairing blasted 45 runs in the powerplay between 36-40 overs to ease off the pressure.
Though Ervine got out, Williams ensured there were no further hiccups. He finished the contest in style, smashing Mohammed Naveed for three consecutive fours. Overall, he collected seven fours and a six in his 18th fifty in 71 ODIs.
Zimbabwe skipper Elton Chigumbura (14*) took his team home alongside Williams. The win puts Zimbabwe Cup campaign back on track after the loss in their opener against South Africa.