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Match Reports,07 July 2015

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Azam, Mustafa lead UAE to victory

Bowlers restrict Namibia to 120/9 and batsmen chase down target with an over to spare

Azam, Mustafa lead UAE to victory - Cricket News
Rohan Mustafa (R) celebrates after Nicolaas Scholtz is stumped by Muhammad Shafiq.
Mohammad Azam hit 51 off 56 balls, while Rohan Mustafa took 3 for 14 in four overs as United Arab Emirates won by five wickets against Namibia in the ninth match of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier tournament at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Saturday (November 16).

Chasing Namibia's 120 for 9, UAE reached the target with an over to spare.
 
After being asked to bat, Namibia lost wickets at regular intervals. Christi Viljoen, the opener, top-scored with 35. JJ Smit, the right-hand batsman, played a cameo of 23 off 15 balls towards the end. But with only three batsmen managing to reach double figures, and a lack of any significant partnerships, Namibia put up a below-par score in its 20 overs.
 
The UAE bowlers bowled well in tandem, as Mustafa was supported well by Nasir Aziz, the offspinner, who finished with 2 for 29 off his four overs, while Manjula Guruge and Shadeep Silva took a wicket apiece. 
 
In pursuit of a small total, UAE got off to a very brisk start. By the time Shaiman Anwar (16) was caught off Smit at the end of the fourth over, UAE had already put up 40 runs on the board. Azam’s half-century, along with Khurram Khan, the UAE captain, who chipped in with a useful 23 off 22 balls, ensured that UAE reached home comfortably. 

Asked about the depth in the batting that UAE has shown despite being a side that is predominantly known for its bowlers, Khan said, “It’s lots of all-rounders we’re playing with, just keeping T20 conditions in mind – short overs, 20 overs, so we’re going with lots of batsmen and some all-rounders as well in the end to do the pinch-hitting. In the first two matches we haven’t required them, but definitely the matches to come, they’ll have a role to play as well.”
 
Khan said the team was not thinking too much about its next game against Ireland, but promised it would go into the match full of confidence.  
 
“We are not thinking about the next game, we are taking it one match at a time, one day at a time, and we know that when we reach the ground, that is when it all gets started.  So we have had two good wins, and we are kind of relaxed now.  Yes, tomorrow is a big game, Ireland is a good team, but definitely we are going to give 100 per cent, and go with the basics, and hopefully we can beat any team.”
 
UAE takes on Ireland tomorrow at the same venue.

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