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The Netherlands reaches top of the table after four-wicket win

UAE goes down despite Shaiman Anwar’s 148 and battling effort by its bowlers; rain prevents any play in Hong Kong v Scotland game for third day in a row

The Netherlands reaches top of the table after four-wicket win - Cricket News
Netherlands' four-wicket over UAE takes them to the top of the points table.
United Arab Emirates v the Netherlands
The Netherlands made heavy weather of a relatively simple chase before notching up a four-wicket win over a determined United Arab Emirates to reach the top of the ICC Intercontinental Cup table on Saturday (January 23).
 
Buoyed by the 151-run lead it had established after scoring 315 in response to UAE’s first-innings total of 164, the Netherlands was clinical in bowling UAE out for 276 in its second innings, which UAE could achieve primarily because of Shaiman Anwar’s gritty 148.
 
But, chasing 126, the Netherlands found the going tough, in particular against Zaheer Maqsood, the legspinner, but eventually Roelof van der Merwe saw the side through with an unbeaten 27 as the Netherlands reached 128 for 6 from 42.5 overs on the final day of the contest at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.  
 
The win pushed the Netherlands, with 46 points from three games, ahead of Ireland, who are second with two wins from two games – 40 points. With Ireland facing Papua New Guinea from January 31, the Netherlands’ position at the top isn’t really safe. But, nonetheless, the unit will be pleased for now, though their second win in three games came after a bit of a scare.  
 
The day began with Anwar, unbeaten on 103 overnight, trying to keep UAE in the game after the rest of the batting contributed a mere 33 runs by stumps on the second day. At the other end there was Saqlain Haider, who resumed on eight. The two were left with the unenviable task of pulling UAE out of the ditch and it managed to do so with Haider adding 41 runs to his overnight tally. By the time Haider became Quirijn Gunning’s second scalp, the duo had added 144 runs and guided UAE to a respectable 224.
 
Hopes of more runs, however, took a beating when Ahmed Raza and Anwar fell with the team total on 225. Farhan Ahmed contributed with a useful 17 and Maqsood made a crucial 28 before becoming Ahsan Malik’s third victim of the day, leaving the Netherlands with a modest target to chase down.
 
The Netherlands’ batsmen were never in danger of mucking up the run chase but they were unable to make the most of decent starts and it became a bit of a concern for the side once it lost Max O’Dowd (36) and Stephan Myburgh (27). To its relief, van der Merwe stuck around and found an able partner in Pieter Seelaar to seal the deal with the clock winding down.
 
Hong Kong v Scotland
For the third day in succession, rain pounded the Mission Road ground in Mong Kok and the umpires, who inspected the playing area at the start of the day, decided to abandon the match.

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