Silva, Aziz star as Netherlands restricted to 107/9, falling short of UAE’s 117/8
UAE had been restricted to a modest 117 for 8, but the bowlers rose to the occasion as Netherlands ended up on 107 for 9, with Nasir Aziz (3 for 21) and Shadeep Silva (1 for 9) sharing four wickets among themselves.
UAE, who opted to bat, lost three early wickets inside the first seven overs to be 37 for 3. Khurram Khan, the captain, was the fourth wicket to fall and his dismissal put the side in fresh trouble. Khan, batting at No.3, had top-scored with 32, but he fell to Ahsan Malik, the medium-pacer, and soon UAE found itself 69 for 5. It took a vital 43-run stand for the sixth wicket between Mohammad Shafiq (25) and Asim Khurshid (17) to give the total some respectability.
Malik returned figures of 4 for 17 in his four overs.
“To be honest it was not a par score, it was a small target. I personally thought we were short by 20-25 runs on this wicket; it is on the slower side,” said Khan. “But our bowlers, Manjula and Shadeep bowled their hearts out in first six overs especially. They gave them only 14-15 runs which brought us back in the game. From there on if you look at fielding performance, it was brilliant with tough catches taken and three run-outs. So it was a wonderful team effort as all contributed to this important victory.
“I am very thrilled with the win. It was a very important game for us, we spoke about it and since we were playing at home we knew the importance of this game as it would take us to Bangladesh. Thanks to the whole team putting in wonderful performance, especially from bowling department - they bowled their hearts out,” he added.
Netherlands got off to a shaky start, losing both openers inside the first three overs. Wesley Barresi (11) and Eric Szwarczynski (23) then had the task of steering the innings to safety. However, after a 26-run third-wicket stand, Barresi fell to Aziz. Shortly after, Aziz ran out Szwarczynski and Amjad Javed trapped Peter Borren, the Netherlands captain, lbw, leaving the side 53 for 5 in 11.1 overs.
Michael Rippon and Ben Cooper kept the fight going with run-a-ball stand of 32 for the sixth wicket, but when Netherlands lost three more wickets in 2.2 overs, the match swung UAE’s way decisively.
“We did well to restrict them to 117, but I don’t know, we did not just play a positive brand of cricket like we normally do. It can happen when you are chasing with a big goal in sight which was to qualify and still is. We still have a shot at qualifying tomorrow; looks like we just got a bit scared of it and did not back ourselves,” said Borren.
Aziz was the highest wicket-taker for UAE, but it was Silva, who returned figures gave up only nine runs in four economical overs and took a wicket, who was awarded the Man of the Match. “Our goal was to qualify. We wanted to win. It was a low-scoring match and I did my best. My plan was to keep bowling wicket-to-wicket, so really happy it paid off,” said Silva.
UAE will face Ireland in the semifinal on Friday, while Netherlands takes on Scotland in a must-win clash on Thursday.