The spin and pace combination of Nikita Miller and Kemar Roach saved the Windies blushes in their ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 warm-up match against the United Arab Emirates when they bowled the two-time former world champions to a 32-run victory at the Harare Sports Club on Thursday. The Windies were heading for an embarrassing defeat when they were spun out for 115 in 33.4 overs after being 31 for no loss at one stage with wrist spinner Imran Haider claiming four for 16, off-spinner Rohan Mustafa bagging two for 10 and left-arm spinner Ahmed Raza snapping up two for 14.
However, left-arm spinner Miller and Roach turned the screws on the UAE batsmen and reduced them to 58 for seven before rain stopped play. When the match resumed, the UAE innings lasted for another 7.1 overs as they were bowled out for 83 in 29 overs.
Miller finished with figures of 10-2-20-5, while Roach claimed three for 15. Off-spinner Ashley Nurse captured two of the last three wickets, to finish with two for 21.
Captain Rohan Mustafa (12), Shaiman Anawar (12) and Rameez Shahzad (11) were the only batsmen to reach double-figures as the result meant the UAE lost both their warm-up matches in the build up to the event proper which will start on Sunday, March 4.
For the Windies, the victory must have lifted their spirits, morale and confidence as they bid to qualify for next year's World Cup, but a few questions remain unanswered from the batting perspective. On Tuesday, the Windies were bowled out by Afghanistan for 110 while chasing 140, and on Thursday they managed only 115.
With the likes of Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Marlon Samuels and Jason Mohammed in their ranks, they will need these proven performers to live up to their reputation and help the Windies take maximum carryover points into the Super Six stage.
Elsewhere, Ireland defeated Scotland by two wickets, while Zimbabwe carved out an easy five wickets victory over Papua New Guinea (PNG). The Hong Kong and Nepal match was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to a wet outfield, while the Netherlands and Afghanistan match was abandoned in the 18th over of the Dutch side who were chasing a revised target of 202.