Team’s 302 for 5 against UAE earns it a 70-run victory; Amjad Ali makes 98 in a losing cause in ACC Premier League match
Afghanistan strode to its second convincing win, this time by 70 runs against the United Arab Emirates on Friday (May 2), the second day of the Asian Cricket Council Premier League.
The win was set up by Samiullah Shenwari (82 not out off 68 balls) and captain Mohammad Nabi (77 off 57 balls), who helped Afghanistan post a mammoth 302 for 5 in 50 overs after Khurram Khan, the UAE captain, elected to field first at the Kinrara Academy Oval in Kuala Lumpur. Rahmat Shah’s leg-breaks, which fetched him 5 for 32 in 5.3 overs, then ensured that the team built on the good work of its batsmen to bowl UAE out for 232 in 44.3 overs.
Noor Ali Zadran (53) and Usman Ghani (55) gave Afghanistan a good start with a 99-run opening stand in 22.5 overs. However, the advantage quickly shifted in favour of UAE, as some quick strikes reduced Afghanistan to 124 for 4 in 29.4 overs. Shenwari and Nabi then came together for a 125-run stand off just 99 balls. Nabi fell in the 47th over when he was caught off Mohammad Naveed.
Shenwari carried on, and in the company of Shafiqullah (14 not out off 5 balls), the wicketkeeper-batsman helped Afghanistan amass 53 runs in the last 3.5 overs.
Khurram and Ahmed Raza both accounted for two wickets with their left-arm spin. Khurram finished with match figures of 2 for 33 in eight overs, while Raza ended his quota with figures of 2 for 50.
Amjad Ali, who came out to open for UAE, anchored its chase. He was the dominant partner in a 70-run opening stand with Salman Faris (27). When Khurram (28) joined Amjad, the opener again dominated in an 86-run fourth wicket stand off 83 balls. He eventually departed in the 32nd over, falling two short of a century, trapped in front by Rahmat.
Krishnachandran Karate then got off to a start, but he quickly ran out of partners and was left unbeaten on 22, as UAE was eventually bowled out with 33 balls left.
Although Rahmat was, by far, the biggest star with the ball, most of Afghanistan’s bowlers made a contribution, with Shapoor Zadran, Dawlat Zadran, Mirwais Ashraf, Mohammad Nabi and Amir Hamza, all chipping in with a wicket each.