ICC World Cup 2015: Brendan Taylor exits in blaze of glory on World Cup do-or-die weekend
Zimbabwe`s Brendan Taylor marked his international farewell with a sublime century on Saturday as the World Cup headed into a do-or-die weekend.
Sydney: Zimbabwe`s Brendan Taylor marked his international farewell with a sublime century on Saturday as the World Cup headed into a do-or-die weekend.
Stand-in skipper Taylor smashed 138 off 110 balls with 15 boundaries and five sixes as Zimbabwe made 287 all out against defending champions India in Auckland for his eighth one-day international century.
It was Taylor`s second successive hundred at the tournament but it was too late to save Zimbabwe as their defeat last week to Ireland had ended their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals.
India, who are already through to the last-eight, where they will face Bangladesh in Melbourne on March 19, sprinted to shake the hand of Taylor playing his last international before he takes up a three-year English county deal with Nottinghamshire.
Sean Williams added 50 off 57 balls with three boundaries and three sixes as Zimbabwe set India a stiff challenge to maintain their 100 percent record in Pool B.
"It was nice to get partnerships (of 93 for the fourth wicket with Williams and 109 for the fifth with Craig Ervine) and build some momentum, but I reckon we are about 30-40 (runs) short," said the 29-year-old Taylor.
"Anything over 300 would have been definitely competitive, especially when you know what you are up against. We feel we`re a bit short there in the end."
Saturday`s other game sees four-time champions Australia seeking to take second spot in Pool A behind New Zealand by defeating Scotland in Hobart and set-up a quarter-final in Adelaide on March 20 against either Pakistan or Ireland.
Australia will have little to fear from a Scotland side who have still to win a World Cup match in three appearances -- a run of 13 games.
The two sides have met four times with Australia winning by six wickets in 1999, 203 runs in 2007, 189 runs in 2005 and 200 runs in 2013.
Six of the eight quarter-finalists are already known -- New Zealand, Australia, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh from Pool A and India and South Africa in Pool B.That leaves 1992 champions Pakistan, 1975 and 1979 winners West Indies and non-Test side Ireland battling for the remaining two places out of Pool B.
Their fates will be decided on Sunday, with Pakistan facing Ireland in Adelaide almost eight years to the day since they were knocked out of the 2007 World Cup by the Irish.
It will be an emotional occasion for Misbah-ul-Haq`s team as that defeat in Jamaica was followed the day after by the death of their coach Bob Woolmer.
Earlier Sunday, in Napier, the West Indies should roll over the United Arab Emirates to grab fourth spot in Pool B and a quarter-final against New Zealand in Wellington.
Pakistan, having won three games in succession -- including over South Africa earlier this week -- after two opening losses, renew their rivalry with Ireland in Adelaide.
Veteran batsman Younis Khan, who played in the 2007 World Cup, wants a victory in honour of Woolmer.
"This is surely a very emotional game for me and all of us," Khan said, remembering the man who coached Pakistan from 2004 till his death.
"I remember Bob a lot, he contributed so much to Pakistan cricket. I hope we can win this game and some more in the World Cup. There would be nothing better to dedicate to Bob`s memory."
West Indies will have one eye on the Napier skies and the other on the scoreboard as they seek to keep their campaign alive in a must-win clash with the UAE amateurs.
The two-time champions, who have lost to Ireland, South Africa and India so far, currently lie fifth in Pool B.
But Cyclone Pam thousands of kilometres away in the South Pacific could blow away their chances if it brings heavy rainfall to New Zealand`s North Island.
A washout would send Jason Holder`s men tumbling out of the tournament -- they need two points from a victory, the solitary point awarded for a no-result will not be enough.
Further complicating matters, the West Indies must soundly beat the UAE by 70 runs to ensure a place in the last eight.