UAE prevail in ACC Twenty20 opener

KATHMANDU — UAE made an impressive start at the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup defeating Kuwait by five wickets in Nepal in their opening Group B Match on Tuesday, according to a Press release. Having conceded 172 runs, it was never an easy task for UAE but almost all the batsmen contributed significantly to ensure UAE achieved the target with still seven balls to spare.

UAE have nothing much to worry in this tournament having already qualified for the World Twenty20 qualifiers in November as the host nation. It was a happy toss to lose for Kuwait, who were put in to bat first, with openers Yasar Idrees and Aamir Javed providing a brilliant start sharing 69 runs for the opening wicket. While Idrees smashed 46 from 33 deliveries consisting of five boundaries and three sixes, Javed hit two sixes and four fours to score a 21-ball 29.

There was a sudden slide when four quick wickets fell including a three-wicket haul by spinner Fayyaz Ahmed but Ali Zaheer scored a 14-ball 21 and Saad Khalid smashed a superb 36 from 19 deliveries containing four hits to the fence and two over it.

The late surge meant Kuwait achieved an impressive 172 for seven in the allotted 20 overs.

UAE skipper Ahmed Raza was the other successful bowler to scalp two wickets.

In reply, UAE suffered a setback in the very first ball when their aggressive batsman Bakhtiyar Hamid Palekar was bowled by Raheel Khan. Wicketkeeper Abdul Shakoor (32, 24, 6x4) and Amjad Ali (39, 27, 3x3, 3x6) then revived the innings putting on an all important 55 runs for the second wicket.

Swapnil Patil (35, 28b, 5x4) and Rohan Mustafa (35 not out, 19b, 7x4) scored identical scores as UAE inched towards the victory before Mohammad Azam fired four boundaries during his 20 to ensure UAE crossed the target in the 18.5 overs.

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