UAE keep Asia Cup hopes alive with emphatic win

The UAE beat Singapore by 47 runs in the qualifiers on Monday



UAE opener Muhammad Waseem plays a shot. (Supplied photo)
UAE opener Muhammad Waseem plays a shot. (Supplied photo)

By Team KT

Published: Mon 22 Aug 2022, 10:50 PM

The UAE bounced back from their shock defeat to Kuwait with an emphatic 47-win win over Singapore to keep their Asia Cup hopes alive.

The CP-Rizwan-led UAE failed to defend 173 against the fearless Hong Kong in their narrow one-wicket defeat at Al Amerat in Oman on Sunday.

But 24 hours later on the same ground, the UAE bowlers were clinical against Singapore after their batsmen scored 160 for eight in 20 overs.

Led by leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan (4-0-13-3) and pacer Junaid Siddique (3-0-14-3), the UAE had Singapore all out for 113 in 18.3 overs to earn their first points in the qualifying tournament.

“I am happy for the boys and the team, this was a much-needed win. On paper, we are one of the stronger teams and we needed to show that on the field as well. That is what we did today," captain Rizwan said.

“The boys were hungry and keen to perform. When they got the opportunity, they grabbed it with both hands.”

The UAE (two points from two matches) moved up to the top of the points table with their victory on Monday, but the winner of the Hong Kong-Kuwait game on Tuesday will grab the top position with four points.

With only the winner of this four-team qualifying tournament earning a place in the Asia Cup, which will be held in the UAE from August 27 to September 11, the battle for the top spot will be immense on the final day of the competition.

Robin Singh's men will face their final must-win game against Hong Kong on Wednesday and a mere victory might not be enough to grab the elusive qualifying spot.

The UAE will need to win by a big margin if they have to clinch the qualifiers and advance to Asia Cup Group A to play against India and Pakistan.

Improved display

Earlier, Muhammad Waseem (58, 34 balls, 3 fours, 5 sixes) came up with a superlative display of power-hitting despite receiving little support from the other top-order batsmen.

All-rounder Basil Hameed (38, 28 balls, 2 sixes), the only bowler to have made an impact in the first match against Kuwait, batted sensibly to take the team to a healthy total before their bowlers delivered a much-improved display to restrict Singapore.

“It is good to be on the winning side and bounce back after yesterday, and this means we are still in with a chance to go through to the Asia Cup, which is what is most important for us,” Waseem said.

The UAE, which have already qualified for the 2022 T20 World Cup (October 16-November 13, Australia), will need another big effort from the right-handed opening batsman in their crunch final game on Wednesday.

Brief scores

UAE beat Singapore by 47 runs.

UAE 160 for eight in 20 overs (Muhammad Waseem 58, Basil Hameed 38; Janak Prakash 3-35, Vinoth Baskaran 2-23)

Singapore 113 all out in 18.3 overs (Aritra Dutta 42; Karthik Meiyappan 3-13, Junaid Siddique 3-14, Sultan Ahmed 1-15)

Nest matches (UAE Time)

Tuesday

Hong Kong vs Kuwait 6 pm

Wednesday

Kuwait vs Singapore 4 pm

UAE vs Hong Kong 8pm


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