WT20: Elton Chigumbura fires Zimbabwe to win over UAE
Sylhet: Allrounder Elton Chigumbura struck a fiery half-century to help Zimbabwe achieve a five-wicket win over United Arab Emirates in Sylhet on Friday, keeping their hopes of reaching the next round alive.
Chigumbura smashed three sixes and six boundaries in his 21-ball 53 not out to lift Zimbabwe from a struggling 34-4 and surpass a modest 117-run target in 13.4 overs.
The win also lifted Zimbabwe's net run-rate over Ireland who face the Netherlands in the crucial match to decide which team qualifies for the Super-10 stage from Group B.
Bangladesh qualified for the Super-10 from Group A on Thursday.
Chigumbura added a match-winning 55 for the sixth wicket with Timycen Maruma who made 22 not out.
Before that Zimbabwe were jolted by left-arm paceman Manjula Guruge (2-18) who dismissed Hamilton Masakadza (two) and Sean Williams (nought) in successive overs.
Zimbabwe's best batsman skipper Brendan Taylor also managed just 15.
Taylor praised his team, especially Chigumbura.
"It was nice to see the guys coming out and playing with freedom. We were a bit more clinical today, even if we did lose a couple of early wickets but Elton was the guy who did it for us," he said.
UAE captain Khurram Khan showed disappointment after their third loss of the tournament.
"We have to work on our fitness and hopefully next time around we go better than this," said Khan.
The UAE owed their total to a 58-run third wicket stand between Khan (26) and Swapnil Patil (30) before left-arm spinner Williams took a career best 3-15 in four overs.
The UAE lost their way before a ninth wicket stand of 27 between Shadeep Silva (13 not out) and Kamran Shahzad (21) lifted them to 116-9 in their 20 overs.
Sikander Raza (2-15) and Tendai Chatara (2-21) were also among the wicket takers for Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe have now two wins out of three games while Ireland have two wins out of two and the Netherlands one win out of two matches.