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The Netherlands beats UAE to go top of the table

Manjula Guruge’s three-for and half-centuries from Shaiman Anwar and Mohammad Usman not good enough as UAE goes down by 6 runs

The Netherlands beats UAE to go top of the table - Cricket News
Wesley Barresi in action against UAE.
The Netherlands maintained its unbeaten run in the ICC World Cricket League Championship after posting a six-run win over United Arab Emirates in a thrilling contest at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Friday (January 29).

Put in to bat, the Netherlands didn’t fare too well but a series of cameos from their middle order got it to 216 from 49.4 overs on a lively pitch.

UAE had two half-centuries in its innings coming from Shaiman Anwar and Mohammad Usman, but its lower middle-order was guilty of slipping up as it was bowled out for 210 with three balls left.

With the win, the Netherlands remained on top of the table with ten points from six matches, one point ahead of Hong Kong, which has nine points from the same number of games.  

The Netherlands, coming into this game with three wins and two no-results under its belt, had a tough time at the start as Manjula Guruge, the UAE left-arm seamer, dismissed its openers – Stephan Myburgh and Michael Swart – within the first seven overs.  

To make matters worse, Ben Cooper and Peter Borren, the Netherland skipper, followed suit not much later, leaving it tottering at 34 for 4 in 9.5 overs. The comeback began when Wesley Barresi and Roelof van der Merwe added 74 runs for the fifth wicket to carry the Netherlands past the three-figure mark.

Following van der Merwe’s dismissal for 31 in 45 balls, Barresi was trapped in front of the stumps by Rohan Mustafa for a 66-ball 42.

Ahmed Raza, UAE’s skipper, went for the kill by setting up aggressive fields and using the most attacking bowlers at his disposal but the Netherlands weathered the storm through Pieter Seelaar and Michael Rippon, who added 76 runs. Seelaar made 49 from 59 balls and Rippon contributed with 34 from 57.

Mudassar Bukhari smashed a couple of boundaries en route his 13-ball 14 before becoming Guruge’s third victim as the Netherlands innings wound to a close.

The platform was ideal for the host, languishing in penultimate spot on the table, to see a win against its name and it started to feel like a certain victory when Muhammad Kaleem and Shaiman got together after losing Mohammad Shahzad early.

The partnership yielded just 30 runs after Kaleem (26 in 40 balls) fell to van der Merwe but it acted as a stabilising factor, which Shaiman built on. The victory seemed well within reach when he teamed up with Usman and added 103 runs for the fifth wicket, carrying UAE to 159 for 3 by the 38th over. But Shaiman’s dismissal to Timm van de Gugten after a 98-ball 71 kicked off an uncontrollable downward spiral. There was some hope as long as the in-form Usman was around but Bukhari put an end to his stand, leaving UAE vulnerable to the Netherlands’ clinical attack.

Mustafa bashed his way out of the predicament but the rest of the batting frittered around him. Mustafa was eventually the last man dismissed for 27 from 33 balls.

Van der Gugten finished with figures of 3 for 44, while Bukhari, Ahsan Malik and Rippon bagged two apiece.

Hong Kong v Scotland

Rain continued to come down hard at Mission Road in Mong Kok, forcing the game between Hong Kong and Scotland to be abandoned without a ball being bowled.

The match, scheduled for Thursday, was pushed into the reserve day but yet another steady downpour meant it was called off before the scheduled start time.

The result meant Hong Kong, which was on top of the table prior to the Netherlands-United Arab Emirates game, to slip to the second spot after sharing a point with Scotland. Scotland has been the unfortunate victim of poor weather as three of its six games have had points shared. Scotland is currently third on the table with seven points from six games.


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