Sharjah Cricket Stadium Hosts Historic 200th Match Today

SHARJAH — UAE cricket will add one more glorious chapter in its illustrious history when the Sharjah Cricket Stadium hosts its 200th international match, featuring Afghanistan and Canada in a one-day international on Thursday.

By Adur Pradeep

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Published: Fri 19 Feb 2010, 12:27 AM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 2:31 AM

It would become the first venue in the world to host 200 international cricket matches.

The stadium hosted its 199th match on Tuesday, and produced a thriller, with Afghanistan beating Canada by one run. Both teams matched the expectations associated with the historic moment and treated the fans with some superb batting display in a high-scoring encounter. Afghanistan, who recently qualified for the Twenty20 World Cup, would be eyeing a series triumph in Thursday’s match. Considering the trend in the first match, it shouldn’t be an easy task. Canada, though lost the first match, were in the reckoning till the last ball. Thursday’s match starts at 2pm.

Promising start

Needing 290 for victory, Canada began their chase stylishly, scoring 59 runs within seven overs before Samiullah Shenwari trapped opener Trevin Bastiampillai leg before for 33. He hit six fours in his 26-ball cameo.

The other opener Rizwan Cheema, however was unperturbed, as he smashed the Afghan bowlers all over the park. From 35 balls, he scored an entertaining 61, which included 11 fours and two sixes. Mohammad Nabi picked up the second wicket, cleaning up Hiral Patel for three. But Canada’s run-rate was impressive, thanks to the belligerence of Cheema.

Shenwari brought Afghanistan right back into the match by clean bowling Cheema in the 12th over. With Sandeep Jyothi too falling to Shenwari quickly, Afghanistan sensed victory. However, skipper Ashish Bagai got an able ally in Sunil Dhaniram, as the duo added 109 runs for the fifth wicket and revived Canada’s chances. Bagai played a sensible knock, scoring 91 from 99 balls, and hit five fours. Nabi broke the dangerous partnership in the 35th over by sending back Dhaniram, who scored a 70-ball 56. His dismissal virtually shut the chances of Canada, though Bagai was still around. He added 20 runs for the eighth wicket with Khurram Chohan, but got run out in the last ball, leaving Canada at 288 for eight at the end of the 50th over.

Good total

The Canada captain’s decision to field first in a day-night match backfired as Afghanistan made sure that they had enough runs on the board. After pacer Chohan gave an initial breakthrough, taking the wicket of opener Karim Sadiq, it was Afghanistan all the way.

A 205-run second-wicket partnership between opener Noor Ali and wicket-keeper Mohammad Shahzad propelled them to a good total of 289 in 50 overs. Both of them hit centuries and by the time Shahzad departed in the 39th over for 118, Afghanistan had crossed the 200-mark. Ali fell in the 45th over for 114. Captain Nowroz Mangal was in an attacking mood as he made an entertaining 32 from 29 balls. Chohan was impressive, taking four wickets for 39 runs in his 10 overs. Right-arm medium pacer Harvir Baidwan bagged two wickets for 55 runs. All others went wicket-less, although Bagai tried as many as eight bowlers.

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