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UAE goes down to Italy by 67 runs

Gayashan Munasinghe's three-wicket haul helps Italy pull off big upset

UAE goes down to Italy by 67 runs - Cricket News
Umpire Steve Davis presents Damien Crowley of Italy with the man of the match award.
Italy caused one of the biggest upsets of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier when it beat hosts United Arab Emirates by 67 runs in the 48th match of the tournament, played at Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 2 in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (November 23).
 
Sent in to bat by UAE, Italy lost its first wicket in the second over when Shadeep Silva dismissed Andy Northcote, the opening batsman. Manjula Guruge struck in the next over, getting Gareth Berg out caught and bowled to reduce Italy to 22 for 2.
 
Peter Petricola and Damian Crowley, the Italian captain, consolidated the innings with a third-wicket partnership of 67 runs from 61 balls. Petricola was dismissed after scoring 38, but Crowley went on to hit 59. A late cameo from Carl Sandri, who smashed 30 runs off 20 balls, took Italy to 158 for 5.
 
A lethal opening spell from Gayashan Munasinghe, the 27-year-old medium pacer, caught UAE by surprise as he dismissed Mohammad Azam, Amjad Khan and Shaiman Anwar, the top three batsmen, leaving the hosts struggling at 6 for 3 by the third over. Crowley dismissed Khurram Khan, the captain, in the next over as the struggle continued in the UAE camp. Berg struck with two late wickets to eventually bundle UAE out for 91 in 16.2 overs. 
 
"I think the boys bounced back really nicely. We lost in the last ball of our last two games and had a couple of days off with rest and rain. The boys got good rest and we bounced back with a convincing win,” said Crowley afterwards.
 
The massive 67-run win took Italy to the fifth spot in Group A as UAE fell behind Hong Kong, which has 10 points from its six matches, to the third spot with eight points.
 
"I think after this win today our confidence will be high. In Twenty20 you never know whoever plays best in those three hours ends up the winner. So we are hopeful and positive,” added Crowley.

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