Chirag Suri hits half-century in victory for the UAE

Denzil Pinto 26/04/2018
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Chirag Suri scored a half-century while Rohan Mustafa and Mohammed Naveed took three wickets each as the UAE ended their World Twenty20 Asia qualifying preliminary campaign with a dominant victory.

Their 86-run win against hosts Kuwait was their fifth consecutive victory in the six-team tournament.

Prior to the match, head coach Dougie Brown challenged his players to end the competition on a high after booking their place in the Asia Qualifiers following their fourth consecutive victory against the Maldives on Tuesday.

And the UAE took Brown’s words on board with a dominant performance against the hosts. Openers Suri and Ashfaq Ahmed made a blistering start by putting on a 63-run stand in just five overs before the latter fell for 36.

While Mustafa (31) and Muhammad Usman (26) weighed in, it was Suri who kept piling the runs at a fast-rate and he ended up with 86.

The 22-year-old’s knock came from 52 deliveries, including six fours and five sixes as the UAE reached 201-4 – their highest T20 total in the tournament.

The target proved to be too much for the hosts with only three batsmen reaching double figures. Mustafa took 3-18, while Naveed finished with 3-20 as Kuwait reached 115-8.

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DBMSC supports team-mate Rohan Mustafa by donating prize money to charity in Pakistan

Denzil Pinto 26/04/2018
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Kind gesture: DBMSC

DBMSC have won quite a few local indoor cricket tournaments but instead of keeping the prize money from the Saudi German Hospital Challengers Cup, each member of the club donated their shares to the less fortunate in Pakistan.

Their ‘A’ side won the Gold Division at the ICC Academy, before their ‘B’ team made it a double celebration by winning the Silver Division crown.

While they got their hands on the winning trophy, the club followed in the footsteps of their team-mate Rohan Mustafa by donating the winning funds of Dh3,000 to charity.

Mustafa, who missed the competition due to international commitments with the UAE national team, recently donated more than Dh8,000 – funds sold from a motorbike that he won in a T20 Nepal tournament, to a charity in Pakistan that helps orphans.

And touched by the gesture, DBMSC supported Mustafa by doing the same.

Amit Chaturvedi, from DBMSC, said: “Our team-mate and UAE captain Rohan Mustafa has decided to support kids in Pakistan who have lost their family by helping them financially through education and sports in a small way, so as a team we wanted to stand behind this clause by dedicating this victory & earnings for a noble cause.”

Mustafa thanked his ‘supportive’ team-mates for the kind gesture.

“I was not aware of it and only came to know of it when they sent the video (of the speech donating the money to charity) to me on WhatsApp,” said Mustafa, who regularly donates money to charity in Pakistan after his father died when the UAE captain was just 14.

“It was very nice of them and they are very supportive people. I was really happy for them to win the title and it shows that you can help anyone.”

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Fahad Nawaz and Zahoor Khan impress as UAE maintain their perfect record in World T20 Asia Qualifier

Denzil Pinto 24/04/2018
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Solid show: Fahad Nawaz

Zahoor Khan and Fahad Nawaz were among the bowlers who impressed with the ball as the UAE made it four wins out of four and qualified for the second round of the World Twenty20 qualifying campaign.

Their 43-run victory against minnows Maldives on Tuesday maintained their 100 per cent record in the ICC Asia Regional qualifiers in Kuwait and are assured of a place in the next stage of the competition.

Electing to bat first after winning the toss, the UAE found themselves 35-4 on a tricky pitch. But a 73-run partnership between Muhammad Usman (43) and Mohammad Boota (35) helped them to 123 all out in the 19th over.

But, that total proved more than adequate as the UAE bowlers did the damage with the ball. Captain Rohan Mustafa led from the front with figures of 3-18 while Khan took 2-7 in his 2.3 overs. Nawaz, who made his senior debut with two wickets against Bahrain on Monday, repeated his feat with 2-22.

Head coach Dougie Brown was pleased to get another win after tough batting conditions for his players.

“It was a good result for us,” said the 48-year-old. “It was disappointing that we only got 123 and our top four batsmen had soft dismissals which meant we were behind at one point in the game. The pitch was very difficult and it was always going to be a low-scoring affair.

“We have to give credit to Mohammad Usman and Mohammad Boota who played really well and put on a very good partnership. Usman played exceptionally well and deserved his man of the match and allowed us to get a good total.”

He added: “The bowlers also did very well. Despite an early scare, we came back into the game and really didn’t give Maldives much of a sniff.”

While Brown lauded the efforts of Zahoor and his captain Mustafa, he has been impressed by how 18-year-old Nawaz has settled into the squad and his hunger to succeed.

“All our bowlers did really well,” he said. “It was lovely that Nawaz showed his way in the game and that was only his second game for the senior side. He is showing that he is stepping up to the plate and bowling well. He’s still a work in progress but there’s plenty to work with and it’s nice to see these guys doing well as what they have done in training.”

The national team will be aiming to end the tournament in style with a fifth straight win when they take on hosts Kuwait on Thursday.

And Brown is confident they can maintain their perfect record.

“We have four from four and got another win,” he said. “We know how volatile this format is. we know the pitches are very hard now and scoring is very difficult. Spin will be a big factor in the game and we’ll have to come up with plans to get a good total. It would be nice to complete the tournament unbeaten.”

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