Khan urges UAE to finish tour on a high

Denzil Pinto 19/09/2014
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Convincing display: UAE beat Papua New Guinea by seven wickets on Thursday.

Captain Khurram Khan has urged his UAE team-mates to remain focused for the final two matches of their High Performance Programme (HPP).

On Thursday, the UAE comprehensively beat Papua New Guinea by seven wickets at Gardens Oval in Darwin, to register their second straight win of the HPP tour.

After Nasir Aziz (3-35) restricted Papua New Guinea to 267, half-centuries from Saqab Ali (73) and Swapnil Patil (72) helped the UAE chase the target with 10 balls remaining.

It was a strong batting performance by the UAE with all five batsmen reaching double figures under the watchful eye of recently-appointed batting coach Mudassar Khan.

Now the UAE face a double-header against Aussie outfit Redbacks – on Tuesday and Thursday – to complete their fixtures Down Under and Khan wants to finish on a high.

"The bowlers and the batsmen just have to stay calm and continue what they are doing," said the 43-year-old, who didn't bat in Thursday's victory after suffering a minor wrist injury when bowling.

"We have to learn and improve in each game as well as learning from our mistakes as we missed some run-out chances against Papua New Guinea. For sure it's going to be a much tougher game but we just need to keep sticking to our basics."

Having lost their opening two matches of the tour against Warriors in Perth, Khan had called for his batsmen to take more “responsibility” at the crease.

And he is happy that his team-mates appear to have taken his advice on board.

"It's very pleasing to have two wins in a row and now the batsmen have shown they are taking more responsibility,” he said.

“Amjad Ali looks like he's in a good form and it was good to see Swapnil Patil score the runs. It's very important to see batsmen scoring runs especially on different conditions. 

"We are now getting used to the conditions and to win the match in a convincing manner was very good as the total was hard to chase but the batsmen showed real maturity to maintain the run rate which saw us cross over the line."

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Fine fifties steer UAE to superb win over PNG

Barnaby Read 18/09/2014
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On fire: Amjad Ali now has two fifties in as many matches for the UAE.

An unbroken fourth-wicket partnership of 147 from Swapnil Patel and Saqib Ali led the UAE to a comfortable seven wicket victory over Papua New Guinea in Darwin today.

Carrying on from their first win of the ICC High Performance Programme tour of Australia over Northern Territory yesterday, the UAE's batsmen made light work of a highly competitive PNG total of 267-7.

Patel (72 from 85 balls) and Saqib Ali (73 from 87) came together in the 21st over and remained at the crease to hit the winning runs and take the UAE to 271-3 with ten balls to spare.

Opening batsman Amjad Ali earlier hit his second fifty in as many matches to set the UAE up superbly in their run chase.

Ali, who made 69 against Northern Territory, was in imperious form once again. The 25-year-old left-hander's 56 coming at slightly better than a run-a-ball and included eight fours.

Mohammad Shahzad (24) and Andri Berenger (33) provided excellent support for Ali at the top of the order but when the latter was caught and bowled by Lega Siaka the UAE were in danger of floundering.

The UAE needed a calming infuence and from there on out Patel and Saqib Ali took control of the match and comfortably carried their team over the line.

Earlier in the day, the UAE bowlers suffered at the hands of Tony Ura (73) and Vani Morea (61). 

Morea's fifty was particulalry destructive, coming from 48 balls and including an impressive five sixes as Kamran Shazad 0-76) bore the brunt of some huge hitting from the 21-year-old.

Nasir Aziz fared far better than Shazad and was the pick of the UAE bowlers, picking up three wickets from his 10 overs at a cost of 35 runs.

The UAE's final two games of the tour come against South Australia on September 23 and 25 at the same venue.

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UAE secure first win Down Under

Barnaby Read 17/09/2014
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Winning ways: The UAE now face PNG tomorrow.

Amjad Ali and Khurram Khan both hit half centuries as the UAE beat Northern Territory by four wickets to claim their first win of the ICC High Performance Programme (HPP) tour of Australia.

Having put their hosts into bat at the Marrara stadium in Darwin, the UAE managed to bowl out Northern Territory for 202 in 45 of the allocated 50 overs.

Ali and Khan then led their team to victory, chasing down the target with 6.2 overs to spare to hand Aaqib Javed's side a valuable victory ahead of their first match against international opposition – Papua New Guinea – at the same venue tomorrow.

Kamran Shazad (3-24) and Mohammad Naveed (3-35) did the damage with the ball for the UAE, while Mohammad Shahzad also impressed with 2-36 from his 10 overs.

Matthew Sampson-Barnes' 73 from 106 balls was the highlight of Northern Territory's innings but only he, opener Solomon Mire (37) and captain Leigh Drennan (45) managed to reach double figures thanks to some ruthlessly economical bowling from the UAE.

It was Ali (69) and Khan (51) who took control from there on out with the pair putting on 83 for the second wicket.

Khan's return to form will be particularly pleasing for Javed who had handed captaincy duties over to 23-year-old Andri Berenger for the match which seemed to free up Khan to focus on his batting.

While wickets fell at steady intervals after that second-wicket partnership, wicket-keeper Swapnil Patel (32*) was there at the end to strike the winning runs as UAE ended on 206-6.

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