The UAE could not have asked for a better start to their series against the Netherlands with Rohan Mustafa and Amjad Javed taking three wickets each to clinch a three-wicket victory yesterday.
All-rounders Mustafa, 28, and Javed, 37, used all their experience and skill with the ball to rattle the Dutch batsmen at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen.
Javed was the stand-out bowler with figures of 3-33, taking all of his scalps in nine deliveries, while skipper Mustafa finished with 3-41 as the Dutch were restricted to 182-8 in their 50-overs.
With a respectable target to reach, the tourists would’ve fancied their chances of chasing that score and they did exactly that, sealing the win in the 49th over with six balls to spare.
Middle-order batsman Mohammed Usman led the way with the bat, scoring an unbeaten half-century of 57 runs from 80 balls.
The result continued the UAE’s recent resurgence with their latest win being their ninth under head coach Dougie Brown since he was in charge as interim from February.
Prior to the game, Brown played down suggestions of his team being the favourites for the series and was fully wary of the Netherlands, who sit top of the World Cricket League Championship in this format.
Although they didn’t get any warm-up matches after arriving in the Dutch capital last week, it didn’t seem to have an effect on his team.
— Dougie Brown (@dougie1brown) July 17, 2017
Elected to bat first after winning the toss, the Netherlands got off to a shaky start with their top-order failing to click.
Javed removed three of their batsmen including experienced opener Stephan Myburgh (27), international debutant Asad Zulfiqar (15) and Ben Cooper (4).
Mustafa got into the act soon after, dismissing his opposite number Peter Borren (56), Saqib Zulfiqar (11) and Shane Snater (3).
There were also wickets for Qadeer Ahmed (1-34) and Mohammed Naveed (1-33).
For the UAE batsmen, Mustafa (34), wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabbir (23) and Rameez Shahzad (29) all played key roles while Netherlands’ Paul van Meekeren’s three wickets went in vein.
The two teams will meet again tomorrow before the series comes to a conclusion on Thursday.