UAE keep qualification hopes alive in World T20 Qualifiers
The UAE batsman Zawar Farid plays a shot (Photo by Ryan Lim)
Abu Dhabi - Chasing 112 in a must-win match, opener Zawar Farid, who replaced Shahzad, led the charge with a maiden fifty (55 off 35 balls) to guide the UAE home with 45 balls to spare
The UAE's 2020 World T20 Qualifiers campaign is back on track following a confidence-boosting five-wicket victory over Nigeria in a Group B clash on Thursday.
After a damaging loss to Jersey and wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber's disappearing act, the UAE suffered another blow with injury to their mainstay Rameez Shahzad.
But chasing 112 in a must-win match, opener Zawar Farid, who replaced Shahzad, led the charge with a maiden fifty (55 off 35 balls) to guide the UAE home with 45 balls to spare.
Electing to bowl, the UAE dominated from the start. The Nigerian openers were sent back quickly.
Sultan Ahmed gave away just six runs from his four overs. It was all UAE in the first half, but Sesan Adedeji and Chimezie Onwuzulike turned the tables with a fine 89-run stand, with 53 of those scored in just five overs.
In reply, the UAE built their innings on useful partnerships. Farid shared a 35-run stand with Rohan Mustafa and a 43-run partnership with Chirag Suri as the UAE reached home safely.
Coach Dougie Brown was delighted with the team's efforts despite all the issues.
"We don't need to go into what we have had to endure over the past couple of weeks, but massive credit to the guys," he said.
"They have been the ones keeping themselves together. We have one focus - to qualify for the T20 World Cup in Australia. We have had a couple of hiccups and speed-bumps along the way, but we are still in there fighting, along with the other teams."
The coach underlined that there will be 'few twists and turns' over the next few days as any team can go through.
Meanwhile, Hong Kong ended Canada's unbeaten run with an impressive 32-run victory.
Now three teams - Oman, Canada and the UAE - have six points each, followed by Jersey, Ireland and Hong Kong on four points each.
BRIEF SCORES UAE beat Nigeria by 5 wickets. Nigeria: 111/3 in 20 overs (Sesan Adedeji 51 not out, Chimezie Onwuzulike 46; Junaid Siddique 1-15, Ahmed Raza 1-15). UAE: 112/5 in 12.3 overs (Zawar Farid 55, Muhammad Usman 20 not out; Sylvester Okpe 2-22).
Man-of-the-match: Zawar Farid (UAE)
Hong Kong beat Canada by 32 runs. Hong Kong: 150/7 in 20 overs (Kinchit Shah 59 not out; Nitish Kumar 1-18). Canada: 118/9 in 20 overs (Rizwan Cheema 20; Nasrulla Rana 3-25).
Man-of-the-match: Kinchit Shah (HK)