The two-time World Cup champion Windies (or West Indies) are in big danger even before the beginning of the World Cup Qualifiers. After losing a warm-up game against Afghanistan in two days earlier, Windies showed another disaster batting performance in their last warm-up game and that was against United Arab Emirates (UAE).
After winning the toss, UAE decided to field first. Windies bundled out for just 115 runs in 33.4 overs. In reply, the experience Windies’ bowling line-up dominated over the UAE batsmen as the Asian team was bundled out for just 83 runs. While Nikita Miller picked up 5 wickets, Kemar Roach and Ashley Nurse claimed three and two wickets respectively. Their combined efforts helped the Caribbean team to snatch a 32 runs victory.
But the main talking point was Windies batting where they suffered another massive failure and this time against the inexperienced bowling team. Openers Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis scored only 16 runs and 10 runs. While Shimron Hetmyer was the highest scorer of their innings with 20 runs knock, Marlon Samuels managed to score only 15 runs. Apart from these four batsmen, no other Windies batsman reached the two-digit score. Extras were the second highest in their innings which was 17 runs.
However, Windies somehow escaped from a disastrous defeat as their bowlers totally dominated over the UAE batsmen. Adnan Mufti was the highest scorer in UAE’s innings with just 14 runs knock.
Surely, Windies’ players are not happy with these performances. While their main target is to qualify for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup and revive their pride, these performances massively hurt on the Caribbean cricket fans.
Windies need to develop massively, specially in their batting, in very short time. The 2018 ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers will begin on 4th March while Windies will play their first game on 6th March against the same team UAE.
Other warm-up games
Zimbabwe beat Papua New Guinea (PNG) by 5 wickets: PNG decided to bat first after winning the toss. After a good top order start, PNG suffered the regular wickets falling. As a result, they only managed to score 195 runs in 49.4 overs before getting all-out.
In reply, Zimbabwe practiced their batting very well as Hamilton Masakadza (54) and Brendon Taylor (52) retired out just after completing their half-centuries. Zimbabwe reached their target in 40.3 overs after losing 5 wickets (including two retired outs).
Ireland beat Scotland in a thrilling finish: Scotland decided to bat first after winning the toss. At the initial stage, Scotland suffered a massive batting collapse as once they were on 60/6. After that, George Munsey and Michael Leask put a brilliant 156 runs partnership for the seventh wicket. Munsey scored 77 runs while Leask (91 runs) missed his century for just 9 runs. Scotland was bowled out for 239 runs in 49.3 overs.
Chasing down the target, Ireland had not a good start as they lost first three wickets for just 45 runs. Then, Andy Balbirnie (79) and Niall O’Brien (35) put an important 90-runs partnership for the fourth wicket. But once that partnership was broken, Ireland once again suffered the wickets falling in regular interval. In the end, George Dockrell played the match-winning knock of unbeaten 47 runs off 38 balls as Ireland secured their victory in the final ball with two wickets in hands.
Afghanistan-Netherlands tie had no result: Deciding to bat first, Afghanistan suffered a top-order batting collapse like their previous warm-up game against Windies. There were some important knocks by the lower-order batsmen as the stand-in skipper Rashid Khan scored 63 runs while Sharafuddin Ashraf (42 runs) and Mohammad Nabi (32 runs) played some crucial knocks. In the end, Afghanistan was bundled out for 216 runs in 49.5 overs.
Netherlands began their innings very well before the rain washed out the match. Before the rain-interruption, Netherlands was 86/1 in 17.3 overs.
Hong Kong vs Nepal clash abandoned: The match totally washed out even without a toss.