Windies begin World Cup quest today

Two-time International Cricket Council (ICC) World limited overs champions, West Indies, begin their quest for another world title run when they face United Arab Emirates today in their first match of the World Cup Qualifiers.

With 10 teams and only two spots available West Indies are hard pressed to qualify let alone win the entire competition as the take on the first hurdle in the UAE.

West Indies will have to be on their toes after failing to beat Afghanistan and being bowled out for just 115 against UAE in their two warm up encounters.

Despite the presence of world beaters such as Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, the batting line up looks not only weak but meek with Evin Lewis and Jason Mohamed possibly the only two players with solid games who could bat long.

Shimron Hetmyer is all but two One Day Internationals (ODI) old which highlights the inexperience in the batting line up with a total of just 364 ODI among the other 13 players as compared to Gayle (275) and Samuels (192).

West Indies will be heavily dependent on the experienced players who, along with Shai Hope and Lewis, are the only players to average over 30.

Captain Jason Holder, Carlos Braithwaite, Hope, Rovman Powell and Kesrick Williams all of whom can come to the party on their day will shoulder the middle-order batting.

Should West Indies bat first, it would be important for them to bat the full 50 overs.

In the bowling department, West Indies are well equipped with spinners,  Devendra Bishoo, Ashley Nurse and Nikita Miller but with only Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell being the tear away bowlers, a lot will depend on the medium pacers in Holder Powell, Williams and Braithwaite.

Meanwhile UAE will be hyped to avenge their warm-up defeat after they too were skittled out 83. With only three players having an ODI hundred (Shaiman Answar, Rohan Mustafa and Rameez Shahzad), the batting is also inexperienced with Anwar being the most capped player with 27. Should UAE look to post or chase a big total these three will need to produce.

Unlike their inexperienced batting, UAE boasts a good bowling attack with Mohammad Naveed their most successful bowler with 34 wickets in ODI while West Indies will be wary of leg break bowler, Imran Haider who troubled them in the warm-up game and bagged four wickets including the prized scalps of Samuels and Hope.

The match is expected to begin at 3.30am Guyana time and will be played in Harare, Zimbabwe.

West Indies Squad: Jason Holder (Captain), Jason Mohammed, Devendra Bishoo, Carlos Brathwaite, Sheldon Cottrell, Chris Gayle, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Nikita Miller, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Kesrick Williams  and Marlon Samuels.

UAE Squad: Rohan Mustafa (Captain), Adnan Mufti, Ahmed Raza, Amir Hayat, Ashfaq Ahmed, Chiraq Suri, Ghulam Shabber, Imran Haider, Mohammad Boota, Mohammad Usman, Qadeer Ahmed, Rameez Shahzad, Shaiman Anwar, Zahoor Khan

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