T20 World Cup Qualifiers: Shahzad, Suri help UAE post emphatic eight-wicket win over Hong Kong
UAE batsman Rameez Shahzad plays a shot during the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier against Hong Kong at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. - Photo by Ryan Lim
Abu Dhabi - Chasing 117 runs, Shahzad (54) and unbeaten Suri (44) guided the side home with 29 balls to spare. With the second win from three matches, the UAE sit top of Group B points table.
Rameez Shahzad struck his maiden T20 fifty and shared a 93-run partnership with Chirag Suri to steer the UAE to an eight-wicket win over Hong Kong in the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifier at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Chasing 117 runs, Shahzad (54) and unbeaten Suri (44) guided the side home with 29 balls to spare. With the second win from three matches, the UAE sit top of Group B points table.
Earlier, the UAE dropped Ashfaq Ahmed and Sultan Ahmad and included Suri and spinner Imran Haider. Asked to bowl, the home team mixed it up nicely with pacers and spinners attacking in tandem. The home side controlled proceedings but first breakthrough came by only the seventh over when Ahmed Raza claimed Ahsan Abbasi (18 runs). Then Waheed Ahmed snared a well-settled Nizakat Khan (31) and skipper Aizaz Khan (19) to pile more pressure. Hong Kong at one point were 88/2 after 14 overs but failed to capitalise. Kinchit Shah (30), the only hope, got run out. And Rohan Mustafa dealt double blow in last over to pack Hong Kong for 116.
While chasing, the UAE lost Mustafa (10) early but Shahzad and Suri were solid. The duo brought up 50-run partnership in 46 balls. Shahzad pounded three sixes and six boundaries.
UAE skipper Raza was delighted with the 'clinical performance' and return to form of key batsmen.
"Both of them were not in great form as others. They paced their partnership really well. Rambo (Shahzad) is our best batsman. We wanted him to play most number of balls. I am very happy for Chirag. He carried the bat. He can take this confidence forward to next games."
Looking forward to match against Jersey, he said: "We executed our plans very well both in batting and bowling. But there is still room for improvement in our fielding."
The victory was made sweeter as it came in front of students from Abu Dhabi schools in the stands.
"We are the people who they look up to. We have to be role model for them."
Meanwhile, Hong Kong skipper Aizaz hoped for positive results in the next three matches.
"We had a good start. We didn't score enough boundaries in the last five overs. We need to work on our batting. We are repeating same mistakes of last matches. We need to score more in the power play. We are not scoring enough runs. We need to have more variations in bowling," Aizaz noted.
In another match, Ireland beat Oman by 35 runs at the Tolerance Oval. Ireland scored 183 for loss of three wickets. In reply, Oman could manage only 148 runs.
UAE bt Hong Kong by 8 wkts. Hong Kong 116/7 from 20 overs (Nizakat Khan 31; Rohan Mustafa 2-17, Waheed Ahmed 2-23. UAE 118/2 from 15.1 overs Rameez Shahzad 54, Chirag Suri 44*; Kyle Christie 2-24). Man of the Match: Rameez Shahzad (UAE)
Ireland bt Oman by 35 runs. Ireland 183/3 from 20 overs (Gareth Delany 89*, Kevin O'Brien 41). Oman 148/9 from 20 overs (Khawar Ali 50; George Dockrell 2-24, Gareth Delany 2-29). Man of Match: Gareth Delany (Ireland)
Scotland bt Papua New Guinea by 4 runs. Scotaland 146/6 (Kyle Coetzer 54, Richie Berrington 22, Mattew Cross 40*). PNG 142 for 9 (Assad Vala 20, Lega Siaka 31, Norman Vanua 33; Hamza Tahir 3/24, Mark Watt 2/23, Safyaan Sharif 2/32, Josh Davey 2/23). Man of the match: Hamza Tahir (Scotland).
Kenya bt Bermuda by 45 runs. Kenya 138 for 4 (Dhiren Gondaria 85, I Karim 15, R Patel 15*; Kamau Leverock 2/30). Bermuda 93 all out in 18.5 overs (Delray Rawlins 37, Janeiro Tucker 22; Collins Obuya 4/27, Shem Ngoche 2/15, Rakep Patel 2/19). Man of the match: Dhiren Gondaria (Kenya)