uae

Hosts UAE began their campaign in the United Arab Emirates Tri-Nation with a 4-wicket win over Scotland at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. Scotland were defeated by Hong Kong in the first match of the tournament. Batting first, Scotland were bowled out for 173 against the UAE slow bowlers debutant leg-spinner Imran Haider, left-arm spinner Ahmed Raza, and medium-pacer debutant Zahoor Khan who shared 8 wickets. UAE were rocked by Josh Davey and Safyaan Sharif when they batted, and were in a precarious situation at 39 for 4. But the middle-order batsmen (Muhammad Usman, debutant Adnan Mufti, and Mohammad Naveed) sealed a comfortable victory in the end.

Kyle Coetzer won the toss, and strode out himself with wicketkeeper Matthew Cross. The pair batted serenely, adding 50 before Cross attempted an ill-advised cut and chopped on. Then the spinners struck, and Scotland suddenly found themselves down at 98 for 6: two of the six wickets came from attempted cuts, and two others from slogs. Richie Berrington then took centrestage, adding 28 with Safyaan Sharif and another 40 with Mark Watt. He reached his fifty in the 45th over, and had perhaps prepared himself for the final onslaught. Unfortunately, Chris Sole was bowled two balls later. With 9 wickets down Berrington had little option but to slog. He perished soon, for an 88-ball 50.

Though Haider (10-0-36-3) and Zahoor (5.2-0-17-3) were the most successful bowlers, it was Raza (10-0-19-2) who posed the most problems. Scotland were left to defend 174.

They did a stellar job of it, to begin with. Debutant Mohammed Qasim went for an expansive drive off the always-dangerous Josh Davey and edged to slip. Captain Rohan Mustafa went next, trying to steer Davey and playing to the wicketkeeper. Sharif struck twice at the other end, inducing an edge off debutant wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber and having Shaiman Anwar caught at point.

Scotland definitely sniffed a chance at 39 for 4, but Usman and Mufti dropped anchor. Runs came in a trickle, and it was only in the 25th over that UAE increased their scoring rate. Usman slogged the fifth and sixth balls of Brad Wheal s over and top-edged both for fours. Two balls later he drove Watt for another four. Wheal eventually had Usman caught behind for a 58-ball 45, but not before the pair had added 62.

Naveed came with the intent to hit out. He hit 3 fours and 2 sixes, preferring the zone past mid-off. By the time he fell for a 23-ball 30 the match had been sealed. Mufti stayed till the end, scoring an unbeaten 71-ball 43 to see UAE home in the company of Raza.

UAE Tri-Nation Series points table
  M W L Pts NRR
UAE

1

1

 

2

+0.699

Hong Kong

1

1

 

2

+0.547

Scotland

2

 

2

0

-0.630

Since each team plays every other only once in the tournament, UAE s win meant that the third match to be played at the same ground between UAE and Hong Kong on January 26 will become the equivalent of a final.

Brief scores:

Scotland 173 in 45.2 overs (Richie Berrington 50; Imran Haider 3 for 36, Zahoor Khan 3 for 17) lost to Hong Kong 174 for 6 in 41.5 overs (Muhammad Usman 45, Adnan Mufti 43*) by 4 wickets with 49 balls to spare.

Man of the Match: Adnan Mufti.