UAE back in T20 business, thrash Ireland
The UAE's Rohan Mustafa celebrates with teammates after claiming a wicket during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier against Ireland at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. - Photo by Ryan Lim
Abu Dhabi - Rohan Mustafa all-round brilliance helps host to convincing victory
ABU DHABI - An all-round effort from Rohan Mustafa helped the UAE thrash Ireland by five wickets in the Group B match of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier UAE 2019 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
After their meek surrender to Oman in the opening match, the UAE made amends with a much-improved show led by Rohan, who took his personal best of four for 18 runs and scored quick-fire 16-ball 39. The UAE chased Ireland's target of 126 runs in 17 overs.
The UAE players played with more purpose and it reflected in their strategy and body language on the field. Struggling pair of Ghulam Shabbir and Chirag Suri was replaced by Mohammad Boota and Darius D'Silva.
Opting to bowl first, the UAE opened with spinners Sultan Ahmad and Ahmed Raza - a ploy that was ineffective against Kevin O'Brien (14). Soon speedster Junaid Siddique was introduced and immediately picked O'Brien. But at other end, Paul Stirling smashed few boundaries to push the score to 35 in five overs.
Skipper Raza and Rohan bowled in tandem and got enough purchase from the wicket to trouble the batsmen. They plugged flow of runs and soon wickets came. Raza packed off Andy Balbirnie (11) and Rohan cleaned up Harry Tector (2) and had skipper Gary Wilson (4) caught. Raza-Rohan duo conceded 27 runs in their six unchanged over spell to scalp three wickets.
Amid the ruins, Stirling played solidly and with Mark Adair kept Ireland in the match. Stirling went after Zahoor Khan and Junaid, and brought up his 50. He looked set to accelerate but was runout on 72 with Ireland at 120 for five in 18.4 overs. In eight-ball hara-kiri, Ireland added five runs for five wickets, including two scalps for Rohan and two runouts.
While chasing, the UAE lost Ashfaq Ahmed (3) early but Rohan, in sensational form, smoked four boundaries off George Dockrell and three from Stirling's over to set the momentum. But pumped-up Rohan (39) let his guard down and was cleaned up by David Delany.
At 61 for 2, Muhammad Usman and D'Silva took charge. However, Boyd Rankin accounted for Usman (29) and both Rameez Shahzad (3) and D'Silva (29) were runout. There was no twist in the tale though as the UAE won with 18 balls to spare. Both the teams have a day off. The UAE next play Hong Kong and Ireland take on Oman.
UAE bt Ireland by 5 wkts. Ireland 125 all out in 20 overs (Paul Stirling 72, Rohan Mustafa 4-18). UAE 129/5 in 17 overs (Rohan Mustafa 39, Muhammad Usman 29). Man of the match: Rohan Mustafa (UAE)
Jersey bt Nigeria by 69 runs. Jersey 184/4 in 20 overs (Jonty Jenner 57*, Ben Stevens 25, Nick Greenwood 43). Nigeria 115/7 in 20 overs Leke Oyede 39, Daniel Ajekun 17; Dominic Blampied 2-24, Elliot Miles 2-22). Man of the match: Jonty Jenner (Jersey)
Papua New Guinea bt Bermuda by 10 wkts. Bermuda 89 all out in 17.2 overs (Delray Rawlins 25; Norman Vanua 3-14). Papua New Guinea 90 in 10.2 overs (Assad Vala 53*). Man of the match: Norman Vanua (PNG)
The Netherlands bt Namibia by 44 runs. Netherlands 140/6 in 20 overs (Ryan ten Doeschate 59; Jan Frylinck 3-25). Namibia 96 in 19 overs (Craig Williams 27; Brandon Glover 3-15). Man of the match: Ryan ten Doeschate (Netherlands)
Scotland bt Kenya by 31 runs. Scotland 170/6 in 20 overs (Tom Sole 33*; Collins Obuya 2-12) bt Kenya 139/8 in 20 overs (Irfan Karim 51; Richie Berrington 3-17). Man of the match: Richie Berrington (Scotland)