The 36-run win strengthens UAE’s position in Group A
United Arab Emirates defeated Canada by 36 runs in a Group A encounter in Match 40 of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday (November 22).
After being put in, UAE’s openers Mohammad Azam (36) and Shaiman Anwar (17) gave the team a steady start with a 48-run opening stand in six overs. Following their dismissals in quick succession, Khurram Khan (22) and Swapnil Patil (19) put together a 39-run partnership off 28 balls. Rohan Mustafa, who came in at No. 5, played a handy knock of 31 towards the end as UAE finished its 20 overs on 159 for 8.
Harvir Baidwan returned figures of 4 for 23 in his four overs and Jimmy Hansara chipped in with the wickets of Anwar and Patil to finish with 2 for 28.
Canada was never on track during its chase, allowing the UAE bowlers to make frequent inroads. Ashish Bagai, the captain, top scored with 43, while Damodar Daesrath lent a useful hand of 30 at No. 6. But with a lack of significant partnerships, Canada ended up falling short by 36 runs as it was bowled out for 123 with one delivery remaining in the innings.
Nasir Aziz’s off-breaks fetched him 3 for 25 in four overs and Manjula Guruge, the medium pacer, finished with 2 for 18. Shadeep Silva, Amjad Javed, Mustafa and Khurram finished with a wicket each against their names.
Khurram was all praise for Aziz’s performance after the game. “Nasir is one of the best bowlers we have. The way he bowled today, although the wind was blowing and it was a shorter boundary, I was scared, but he bowled really well,” he said.
Khurram admitted that the team lost its way towards the end while batting, but was glad that UAE managed to put up a decent total. “We lost three-four wickets in a heap in the 16th and 17th over and towards the end, but what happened was the wind was blowing from one end so all were trying to hit from the other end,” he said. “Bairdwan bowled really well but since we had good partnerships in the start and it was the first match when we were batting first we were little cautious but it all worked really well for us and the batsmen batted superbly.”
UAE will now face Italy on Saturday.