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18 September 201416:26

Saqib, Patil lead UAE to comfortable victory

Three batsmen score half-centuries to guide chase after PNG puts up 267

Saqib, Patil lead UAE to comfortable victory - Cricket News

UAE overhauled the 268-run target with ten balls to spare.

Unbeaten half-centuries from Saqib Ali (73 off 87) and Swapnil Patil (72 off 85) helped United Arab Emirates to a seven-wicket victory over Papua New Guinea in an ICC Cricket World Cup Associate Warm-up one-day match at Darwin on Thursday(September 18).

PNG had put up a competitive 267 for 7 in its 50 overs, but a combined effort from the top five batsmen helped UAE cross the line with 10 balls remaining. Amjad Ali and Mohammad Shahzad put on a brisk 50-run opening partnership before Shahzad (24) fell to Norman Vanua in the eighth over. However, the wicket did not bring any respite for PNG as Andri Berenger and Amjad Ali continued to score quickly. Amjad Ali got past his fifty and Berenger scored an attacking 33, including two sixes, as UAE went past 100 in less than 16 overs.

Just when it looked like the chase would turn out to be an easy task, a double-blow from Lega Siaka gave PNG a ray of hope. Siaka first got Berenger off the last ball of the 19th over, before dismissing Ali for 56 in his next over. The Amjad-Berenger duo had added 71 runs off just 67 balls for the second wicket, but with two new batsmen in the middle and the score on 124 for 3 in the 21st over, the game was back in the balance.

However, Patil and Saqib ensured that there were no further hiccups for UAE. They made well-paced half-centuries and shared an unbeaten 147-run stand for the fourth wicket to take UAE home comfortably. Patil's knock included nine fours and a six, while Saqib hit 10 boundaries. Siaka, with figures of 6-1-29-2, was the pick of the bowlers, while Vanua was the most expensive, conceding 54 runs from his seven overs.

Earlier, after being asked to bat first, contrasting half-centuries from Tony Ura and Vani Morea drove PNG forwards. Ura, the opener, made a patient 73 off 109 balls and set-up the innings, while Morea, batting at No. 5, made an attacking 48-ball 61, including five sixes to take PNG to a strong finish.

PNG was at 171-5 in the 40th over before Morea and Jack Vare (21 off 18) added 50 runs for the sixth wicket in just 34 balls. Vare and Morea fell to left-arm spinner Khurram Khan in the 46th over, but Charles Amini continued the momentum and smashed a 20-ball 35, including three sixes.

Off-spinner Nasir Aziz (3 for 35) was the pick of the bowlers for UAE while medium-pacer Kamran Shazad conceded 76 runs from nine wicketless overs.
See the match scorecard and more details here.
Upcoming Fixtures
Tuesday 23rd September UAE v SA Redbacks, Darwin
Thursday 25th September UAE v SA Redbacks, Darwin
Both of these games will be live scored on www.icc-cricket.com