TYMCEN Maruma hit 35 off 22 balls to rescue Zimbabwe from a middle-order collapse and enable them to win the final ODI against the United Arab Emirates by three wickets and complete a clean sweep of the series at Harare Sports Club on Tuesday.
Rain forced an adjustment of Zimbabwe’s original target of 176 for victory to 129 off 30 overs. But, whether through complacency or carelessness, they lost three middle-order wickets in four balls before Maruma’s spectacular effort put them back on course for victory.
Zimbabwe made two changes to their team for this match, with Tendai Chatara returning and Brian Chari playing his first match of the series, in place of Donald Tiripano and Solomon Mire.
On an overcast morning, the UAE won the toss and surprisingly decided to bat first.
Chirag Suri and Ashfaq Ahmed opened the batting for the visitors against the bowling of Kyle Jarvis and Chatara.
Jarvis did not look as lethal as in previous matches, and for the first time in the series the tourists’ opening partnership reached double figures. Eleven was as far as it went, though, as on that score Ahmed (8) tried to cut a ball from Chatara only to edge it straight to Craig Ervine at first slip.
After scoring an unbeaten century in the warm-up match, Ahmed has had an unhappy series, scoring only 19 runs in the four matches.
As usual, Jarvis was rested after bowling five overs, but for the first time in the series he failed to take a wicket, though only conceding 11 runs.