Ali Mirza missed out on century but his 89-run knock proved to be vital as Ajman Falcons beat Ajman Stallions by 33 runs in the Rising Star League.
Stallions decided to field first and after having brief success with the dismissal of Nitin Kumar early on, Falcons gradually found their game at the crease.
That was largely down to Tahir Hamdan and Mirza, who frustrated Stallions with a 86-run partnership. That stand came to an end when Hamdan was out for 36 runs but Mirza continued to be a threat. He went on to score a superb 89 – the highest individual score of the third round.
Once he was sent back to the pavilion, Cherian George and Mohammed Faraaz kept the run-rate up by hitting 19 and 18 runs respectively. By the time they finished their 36 overs, they amassed an imposing total of 188-7.
It could have been more but Mirza’s UAE U-19 team-mate Aryan Lakra was in top form with the ball, taking 4-40 in his allotted eight overs.
When Lakra returned with the bat, he could only score six runs while Vihan Sudhir was out for five. Abdul Murad hit a battling 34 while Ebrahim Alam and
Thomas Mariadason scored 28 and 21 respectively.
Stallions tried their best to pile on the runs and were eventually out for 156.
For Falcons, as Akasha Mohammed and Mohammed Faraaz took two wickets each, while Mirza’s efforts with the bat saw him claim the man of the match award.
The UAE must beat Bangladesh on Tuesday to keep their 2020 World Twenty20 qualification hopes alive after they fell to an agonising two-wicket loss against Papua New Guinea (PNG).
At Amstelveen on Sunday afternoon, the UAE nearly pulled off an unlikely victory when they took four wickets in the last four overs to leave PNG needing six from seven deliveries. But PNG scraped past the finishing line to reach their 84-run target with one ball remaining.
Victory against PNG would have guaranteed a semi-final berth for the UAE but Murali Sockalingam’s side will have to beat newly-crowned Asian Twenty20 champions Bangladesh in their final group game to guarantee their road of reaching the showpiece event in West Indies.
The UAE had little time to rest following their stunning six-wicket win over hosts Netherlands on Saturday.
But unlike their remarkable run-chase where they successfully reached their target of 138 against the Dutch thanks to Nisha Ali’s half-century, the UAE struggled with the bat.
After surviving the first seven overs, the UAE lost their first wicket and by the 12th over, half of their batting line-up had been dismissed with the scorecard reading 45-7.
Subha Srinivasan (22) and Roopa Nagraj (10) then put on a vital 29-run stand. By the time Srinivasan became the sixth batswoman to be run-out off the final delivery, the UAE gave themselves a fighting chance with 83 on the board.
With PNG hitting 84 runs in their eight-wicket defeat to Asian Twenty20 champions Bangladesh on Saturday, the UAE bowlers had their work cut out.
Nagraj got the UAE’s first wicket in the second over before former Sri Lanka all-rounder Chamani Seneviratna added another. With 11 runs needed from 24 deliveries, PNG was in a dominant position but survived a scare when Srinivasan (3-13) took two scalps in one over while Kavisha Egodage (1-15) pegged them back.
Ali, who scored two runs with the bat, was effective with two run-outs in the three overs but PNG kept their cool and got the required run to keep themselves in contention.
Debutants UAE made a dream start to their Women’s 2018 World Twenty20 Qualifier campaign as they stunned hosts Netherlands by six wickets in a thrilling finish.
Needing eight off the last over in their chase of 138, the UAE lost Udeni Dona in the first ball but former Sri Lanka international Chamani Seneviratna hit the winning boundary with two balls to spare to seal a historic win.
It was the first time the UAE, captained by Humaira Tasneem, had beaten a European nation in their 11-year history and boosts their hopes of reaching the knockout stages.
Although Seneviratna scored the winning runs, the platform was set thanks to a solid partnership between Nisha Ali and Chaya Mughal. After losing opener Esha Oza with just five on the board, the UAE were up against it but Mughal and Ali came together to frustrate the Dutch bowlers with a 110-run stand.
Ali showed why she was named the best player of the Asian qualifiers in November with a superb half-century with her 69 runs coming off 59 deliveries. The 31-year-old hit nine fours in that knock while Mughal kept the run-rate going with a crucial 36 off 41 deliveries.
With 23 from 18 deliveries, the momentum was with the UAE but in the space of four deliveries, both were sent back to the pavilion.
Although Dona fell in the last over, Seneviratna kept her cool to hit the much needed boundary and give debutants UAE the perfect start.
Earlier, the UAE started positively with the ball as Subha Srinivasan removed captain Heather Siegers (11) in the third over.
Despite their best efforts, the UAE had to wait for more than 10 overs to get their second scalp. Heena Hotchandani dismissed Denise Hannema (23) to break an 80-run partnership before returning again in the 18th over to claim her second of the day.
By the time Netherlands ended their innings in the 20th over, the UAE were set a target of 138 following an unbeaten 88-run knock from opener Stere Kalis.
The UAE, who are appearing in only their second ICC tournament, can make the last-four if they defeat Papua New Guinea on Sunday. If they lose that, they will have another chance when they take on Asian T20 champions Bangladesh on Tuesday.