Cricket: Aziz, Javed frustrate West Indies

Shukriya Pakistan

NAPIER: A stubborn century partnership by Amjad Javed and Nasir Aziz guided the UAE to 175 and frustrated the West Indies’ plans for a quick end to the innings ahead of looming rain in their crucial World Cup tie on Sunday.

Javed (56) and Aziz (60) put on 107 for the seventh wicket, frustrating the West Indies who carved through the top order of their must-win clash to have UAE 46-6.

“I just started to play the maximum number of balls on their merit, I didn’t think about runs,” said Javed who arrived at the crease when his team were 26-5.

“When Aziz came I told him to play them on merit too and not to go for runs early on. Then we could score later and that’s what we managed to do.”

The longer their innings continued, the more the life went out of the fielding effort of a West Indies side under pressure to win handsomely.

Given the various permutations in the West Indies’ battle with Ireland and Pakistan to fill the final two play-off slots from Pool B, a comprehensive win over UAE appeared the safest route to qualify on a superior run rate.

They were also racing the weather with rain forecast for late in the afternoon and one point from an abandoned game not enough to keep the West Indies in the tournament.

With Chris Gayle a late withdrawal because of a back strain, weakening skipper Jason Holder’s option of batting first and looking for a 350-400 total, he favoured the alternative of trying to bowl the UAE out cheaply.

Luck played into his hand when he won the toss, and Holder followed up with his best World Cup performance of four for 27 as he bowled himself out at the top of the innings.

With a pearler of a delivery to start the fourth over, he had Andri Berenger caught behind by Denesh Ramdin, and in his next over he removed Krishna Chandran and Amjad Ali, with Chandran making his third duck in the tournament.

Jerome Taylor chimed in, bowling Khurram Khan and Shaiman Anwar as the UAE slumped from 13 without loss to 26-5 in 31 deliveries.

Swapnil Patil and Javed valiantly added 20 before Holder skittled Patil with a ball which nipped back off the seam.

But once Holder had used up his 10 overs, Javed and Aziz found the middle overs attack of Kemar Roach much to their liking.

Aziz, in only his third ODI and not required to bat in the first two, looked very accomplished as he smacked eight fours in his 60 off 86 deliveries.

Javed topped his previous best of 42 as he reached his first half-century and with Aziz he posted the equal fourth-highest partnership in the UAE’s ODI history after also making 107 with Shaiman Anwar earlier in the World Cup against Ireland.

But once Aziz and Javed were dismissed the innings folded quickly with the last three wickets falling for eight runs. AFP