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Wells delighted by UAE's opening victory

UAE coach Colin Wells said he was delighted by his team's performance after an excellent four-wicket victory over Namibia in the ICC Intercontinental Shield

UAE coach Colin Wells said he was delighted by his team's performance after an excellent four-wicket victory over Namibia in the ICC Intercontinental Shield.

"The game was very hard fought and we battled to stay in touch with them as they threatened to put us out of the game on several occasions. We worked hard and managed to get an opportunity to win the game by bowling them out on the last morning when some sides may have just sat back and waited for a declaration," said Wells.

"Some of the factors that benefitted us during the match were developing game plans and executing them well. Namibia will also regret dropping the number of catches they did, which I believe is in excess of 10.

"There were many key player performances that stood out at crucial stages of the game, but there were also many tight bowling spells and supporting batting partnerships that contributed greatly to this victory," he added.

UAE won the toss, and put a relatively inexperienced Namibia side on to bat. Runners-up in last year's ICC Intercontinental Cup after losing to Ireland by nine wickets in the final, Namibia fielded a young side.

Despite its inexperience, Namibia posted a respectable total of 369 all out in 127 overs in the first innings. Louis van der Westhuizen (70), Sarel Burger (65) and Wian van Vuuren (55) top-scored for the side. UAE's Fayyaz Ahmed picked up 4-75 to be the best bowler for his side in the innings.

In reply, the visitors could only manage 297 in 92.2 overs, conceding a 72-run lead, despite an 84-run knock by Arfan Haider. Louis Klazinga played a major role in keeping the runs in check with his figures of 5-61.

In the second innings, opener Raymond van Schoor smashed 87 runs to extend Namibia's lead of 72 runs. However, after his dismissal Namibia lost the plot, and UAE, making use of the opportunity, dismissed the hosts for 237 in the 92nd over. Mohammad Tauqir (5-40) and Fayyaz Ahmed (3-77) were the mainstay of the bowling attack.

Enjoying a 309-run lead, Namibia looked forward to a well-deserved victory after dominating the first innings. However, UAE skipper Khurram Khan had other ideas and posted a 144-ball century to inspire an impressive victory.

Wells believes this opening victory for his side shows that the UAE is capable of winning the tournament.

"Namibia has been very successful in this format of the game, so to beat them at home, would suggest that we have the ability to win the tournament. If we win some crucial tosses, we have a very good chance of success," he said.

UAE will next meet Uganda in January 2010 in the next fixture of the tournament while Namibia will play Bermuda in April.

Wells added: "We are already looking forward to the Uganda match. I understand they have some aggressive batsmen and are superb in the field, so we will plan accordingly. They have already beaten Bermuda and are currently top of the table, so it should be a good match."

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