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​UAE, Oman begin with victories

Rohan Mustafa stars with all-round show against Afghanistan, while Babar Hayat's century for Hong Kong goes in vain

​UAE, Oman begin with victories - Cricket News
The Asia Cup T20 qualifiers got underway on Friday (February 19) with United Arab Emirates beating a strong Afghanistan side.
The Asia Cup T20 qualifiers got underway on Friday (February 19) with United Arab Emirates beating a strong Afghanistan side, while Oman pulled off a thrilling victory over Hong Kong.
Both contests saw high-scoring innings. Babar Hayat’s century in a losing cause for Hong Kong, and Rohan Mustafa's all-round showing against Afghanistan were the highlights of the day.
United Arab Emirates v Afghanistan
Mustafa’s all-round show inspired UAE to a 16-run victory over Afghanistan in the opening match of the Asia Cup qualifiers at the Khan Saheb Osman Ali Outer Stadium in Fatullah.
Mustafa scored a rapid 50-ball 77 to power UAE to 176 for 4, before taking three quick wickets with his offspin to dismiss Afghanistan for 160 in 19.5 overs.

Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Mustafa and Muhammad Kaleem, the openers, put on 83 runs in only 8.5 overs before the latter was dismissed for 25. Mustafa and Shaiman Anwar stitched together a 38-run partnership, before UAE suffered a double blow, losing both batsmen in the space of three balls.
First, Rashid Khan, the legspinner, dismissed Anwar for 11, and then Amir Hamza, the left-arm spinner, removed Mustafa, leaving UAE’s score at 122 for 3. His innings consisted of seven boundaries and four sixes.
Mustafa’s wicket slowed the run-rate, and soon Amjad Javed, the UAE captain, was also dismissed to become Rashid’s third victim. However, Usman Mushtaq (23) and Mohammad Shahzad (25) shared an unbeaten 48-run stand for the fifth wicket to guide the team to a good total.
Afghanistan’s chase got off to a rocky start as the team was reduced to 37 for 3 within the Power Play overs. The experienced duo of Karim Sadiq and Mohammad Nabi then brought the chase back on track, adding 47 runs for the fourth wicket.

Nabi’s wicket for 23 was followed by that of Gulbadin Naib, and Afghanistan found itself at 103 for 5, still needing 74 runs in 34 balls.
Sadiq and Najibullah Zadran added 41 runs in 22 balls, giving Afghanistan an outside chance, but the duo fell in quick succession. Sadiq scored a valiant 72 off 48 balls with eight fours and a six before he was dismissed by Mohammad Naveed.
With Afghanistan on 155 for 7, needing 22 runs off 6 balls, Mustafa wrapped up the innings, picking up the last three wickets in four balls.
Oman v Hong Kong
Babar Hayat’s incredible 60-ball 122 went in vain against an inspired Oman, who beat Hong Kong by five runs in the qualifying round of the Asia Cup at the Khan Saheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah.
In pursuit of 181, Hayat played a wonderful hand for Hong Kong. He almost single handedly took his team to victory when he smashed 27 runs off the 18th over bowled by Zeeshan Maqsood, including four sixes, the second of which brought up his century . His blitz brought the equation down from 45 runs required off 18 balls to 18 runs needed off 12 balls, but Bilal Khan, kept his nerve to bowl a tight 19th over, conceding only three runs.

Ajay Lalcheta who bowled the final over, managed to dismiss Hayat, whose innings included nine fours and seven sixes, with 10 runs required off to balls. Eventually Hong Kong ended five runs short of its target to be finish on 175 for 7.
Earlier, having won the toss and chosen to bat, Oman managed to put up 180 for 5 thanks mainly to Jatinder Singh, who scored 42, and some impressive contributions from the middle order.

Even though Hong Kong kept chipping away at the wickets, the Oman batsmen kept finding a way to score runs. They maintained a healthy run-rate throughout the innings. An unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 50 off 24 balls between Amir Ali (32) and Mehran Khan (28) propelled Oman in the final phase.
Nadeem Ahmed was Hong Kong’s most successful bowler with figures of 3 for 27.

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