Written by Keshala Dias
15 Apr, 2017 | 1:04 pm
Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Stadium was lit up by Shaiman Anwar’s 68-ball 117 as United Arab Emirates completed a 30-run win against Papua New Guinea in the first of two games of the day between the two sides. Anwar scored at a strike rate of more than 170 and helped UAE recover after both openers were bowled by Norman Vanua in the first over. Anwar struck ten fours and and six sixes to single-handedly accelerate UAE’s innings as they piled on 74 runs off their last five overs. Out of UAE’s completed score of 180 for 3, Anwar scored 65% of them – the fifth-highest percentage of runs scored by a batsman in a single T20I innings. The win made the second game of the day – the third T20I – inconsequential as the hosts took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
Chasing 181, PNG openers Tony Ura and Lega Siaka notched up 42 in 21 balls, but both batsmen were caught off Amjad Javed at mid-off in their twenties. Captain Assad Vala fell for one. Sese Bau (30 off 22 balls) and Jack Vare (38 off 36 balls) tried to rebuild their chase. But with the latter’s dismissal to Javed, who finished with a three-for, PNG’s innings fizzled out, with Mohammad Naveed picking up three lower-order wickets with his medium pace.
United Arab Emirates 130 for 5 (Usman 58, Shazad 47, Vanua 3-35) beat Papua New Guinea 128 for 5 (Siaka 31, Mustafa 2-27) by five wickets.
The final game of the series (and the second of the day) was a tighter one, but UAE’s Muhammad Usman and Rameez Shahzad added a run-a-ball partnership of 90 for the fourth wicket to help them to a win against PNG that completed a 3-0 series whitewash. Both batsmen fell with UAE a few runs away from the 129 target, but by then the win was all but secured. Usman came in with UAE struggling at 6 for 2 and Shahzad next ball at 6 for 3, but the two rebuilt the innings in a patient stand that helped them out of the hole of the early collapse.
That UAE had to chase only 129 was a result of tight bowling. After a 54-run opening stand between PNG openers Ura and Siaka, the UAE bowlers took regular wickets, not letting any of the visiting team’s batsman settle. Five PNG batsmen got starts, but Siaka’s 31 was their highest score, a reflection of the success of the UAE bowlers. Rohan Mustafa finished with figures of 2 for 27. No UAE bowler had an economy rate of more than 6.75 runs per over.
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