Aravind, Meiyappan keep UAE's T20 World Cup hopes alive

UAE wicketkeeper-batsman Vriitya Aravind after his match-winning performance. (UAE Cricket Official Twitter)
UAE wicketkeeper-batsman Vriitya Aravind after his match-winning performance. (UAE Cricket Official Twitter)

Aravind hit a magnificent unbeaten 97 off 67 balls in his team's total of 157



By Team KT

Published: Fri 18 Feb 2022, 8:13 PM

Young wicketkeeper-batsman Vriitya Aravind came up with a superlative batting display to help the UAE beat Ireland by 18 runs in the Group B match of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier A at Al Amerat, Oman, on Friday.

Eight teams have been divided into two groups of four each with the top four teams advancing to the 2022 T20 World Cup (October 16–November 13) in Australia.

In the other Group B match, Bahrain beat Germany by six wickets on Friday.

Meanwhile, in Group A, Nepal beat Oman by 39 runs and Canada defeated the Philippines by 118 runs.

Aravind hit a magnificent unbeaten 97 off 67 balls in his team’s total of 157. UAE then restricted Ireland to 139 for nine with young leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan being the top performer in the UAE bowling line up.

Aravind’s well-timed innings comprised 13 boundaries and a six while Meiyappan picked three for 16 in his three-over spell as Ireland were restricted to 139 for nine.

Chasing a target of 158, Ireland openers Paul Stirling and skipper Andy Balbirnie made a cautious start to take their side to 50 for no loss at the end of power play overs.

Meiyappan struck in the very first ball of his spell as he had Stirling caught by Muhammad Waseem in the deep for 32. Balbirnie left soon after and Gareth Delany was Meiyappan’s second wicket, who also accounted for Simi Singh to leave Ireland struggling at 66-4.

George Dockrell and Shane Getkate got off to starts but got out earlier in a bid to accelerate the run-rate as Ireland stuttered to 111-6 in 16 overs. Lorcan Tucker’s innings of 25 ended when he was caught by Basil Hameed off Zahoor Khan, who also had Craig Young leg before wicket. Ireland were restricted to 139 for nine with experienced Rohan Mustafa bagging two late wickets.

Earlier, 20-year-old Aravind displayed maturity beyond his age as he shouldered the responsibility of shepherding the team to a challenging target. Coming into bat with the team’s total reading 20-2, Aravind paced his innings in style. He tackled the middle overs with tact before launching an attack in the death overs.

The last five overs were the most productive as Aravind displayed his range of strokes and for UAE scored 63 valuable runs.

“We had a good quadrangular series here and I am glad at the momentum we have right now,” UAE captain Ahmed Raza said.

“Vriitya (Aravind) played an amazing innings and glad to watch the team’s young members doing well. He and Karthik (Meiyappan) are just 19 and 21.”

Meanwhile, Ireland captain Andy Balbirnie said: “The three quick dismissals pushed us back and though the later order batsmen should have stayed longer, it didn’t happen. We now have to win the next two games and hopefully we will to reach semifinals.” — With inputs from ICC


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