Fayyaz Ahmed and Mohammad Naveed hold nerve with unbeaten 36-run stand as UAE wins its first match of ACC Premier League by two wickets
United Arab Emirates survived a mighty scare against Hong Kong to win a thrilling match by two wickets with only 1.3 overs to spare at the Kinrara Academy Oval on Sunday (May 4).
UAE thus avoided a third loss in the Asian Cricket Council Premier League, with its bowlers coming to the fore after it opted to field first. UAE’s attack was led by Mohammad Shahzad (4 for 26) and Kamran Shahzad (3 for 41), and the duo combined to keep Hong Kong to a modest 157 in 45.2 overs. The UAE batsmen failed to fire after that, but thanks to Fayyaz Ahmed (38*) and Mohammad Naveed (16*), who held their nerve well, UAE managed its first win of the tournament.
UAE began its chase with opener Salman Faris falling in the very first over for a duck. Captain Khurram Khan and Swapnil Patil also didn’t get going and were eventually dismissed for 2 and 5 respectively.
With three batsmen back in the hut for just 24 runs, Amjad Ali (39) and Shaiman Anwar (22) added 48 runs for the fourth wicket taking the score to 72. Another collapse followed thereafter, and UAE was soon reduced to 97 for 7.
Fayyaz and Naveed came together with the score 122 for 8, and steered the chase from there to delivery victory.
Earlier, Hong Kong lost its way after a good start. Irfan Ahmed had hit 30 in an opening stand of 41 before he fell, and the bowlers didn’t allow partnerships to develop after that. Jamie Atkinson failed to capitalise on a start, and fell for 20 to Mohammad Shazhad, and with regular wickets, Hong Kong soon found itself 121 for 6 in the 38th over. Ankur Sharma (16) and Haseeb Amjad (21) stitched together a 29-run stand, helping Hong Kong cross 150, but Kamran Shahzad cleaned up the remaining three batsmen, ensuring they could add no more than seven runs.
UAE will play Malaysia next, while Hong Kong will be up against Nepal on May 5.