Windies got their World Cup Qualifier 2018 campaign off to a winning start after beating United Arab Emirates by 60 runs. In the other Group A contest in Harare on Tuesday (March 6), Ireland made it two in two after securing a four-wicket win over Papua New Guinea.
Windies v United Arab Emirates
Chris Gayle slammed his 23rd ODI century and Shimron Hetmyer scored his maiden ODI ton as Windies posted 357 for 4 at the Old Hararians ground.
Jason Holder’s five-wicket haul then derailed UAE’s chase as they were kept to 297 for 7.
Opting to bat, Windies were off to a solid start with Gayle and Evin Lewis putting on an 88-run opening stand. Even as Lewis fell in the 17th over, Gayle scored his runs at a fair clip with Hetmyer for company. The duo put the UAE bowlers to sword during their 103-run second-wicket stand.
Gayle’s innings put Windies firmly in command before he was dismissed by Imran Haider in the 29th over. His 91-ball knock comprised seven fours and 11 sixes. Hetmyer carried on unperturbed, bringing up his maiden ODI ton to take Windies past 300. His 93-ball knock was studded with 14 fours and four sixes.
Chasing an imposing 358, UAE were rocked early when Kemar Roach dismissed Rohan Mustafa in the fourth over. Chirag Suri made a laborious 62-ball 38 on ODI debut before becoming Holder’s first victim. But it was Rameez Shahzad’s unbeaten century and Shaiman Anwar’s half-century that kept UAE in the hunt. The duo shared a 144-run for the fourth wicket before Anwar fell to Holder.
With 143 runs required in 11 overs, Adnan Mufti briefly threatened with 36-ball 45, but Holder kept striking to UAE on the mat. Shahzad made an unbeaten 107-ball 112 with nine fours and four sixes. Holder ended with 5 for 53.
Papua New Guinea v Ireland
Tony Ura’s maiden ODI century went in vain as Ireland rode on William Porterfield’s ton to beat Papua New Guinea by four wickets at the Harare Sports Club.
Barring Ura, the opener, none of the other PNG batsmen could convert their starts after being put in. His 142-ball 151 single-handedly led PNG to 235 with Chad Soper, the No. 9 batsman’s 25, the next highest score.
Ireland’s pace-spin duo of Boyd Rankin (3 for 38) and Andy McBrine (2 for 41) kept striking at regular intervals as PNG struggled to string together substantial partnerships.
Chasing 236, Ireland got off to a solid start with Porterfield and Paul Stirling (27) putting on a half-century opening stand. Stirling fell to Asad Vala (2 for 39), and Andy Balbirnie too fell cheaply, but Porterfield forged a crucial 108-run third-wicket partnership with Ed Joyce (53).
Even as PNG bowlers kept chipping away, Porterfield remained firm, bringing up his 11th ODI ton. By the time he fell, in the 44th over, Ireland were just 24 runs away from the target. Kevin O’Brien (12), Gary Wilson (12 not out) and George Dockrell then applied the finishing touches as Ireland reached 237 for 7 in 49.1 overs.