UAE’s World T20 campaign ends in another defeat

Sudhir Gupta 22/03/2014
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Patience: Captain Khurram Khan believes his side are showing signs of improvement.

UAE ended their World T20 campaign on a low note, losing their final match of the first round to Zimbabwe by five wickets in Sylhet.

Batting first, the UAE reached 116-9, mainly due to the 58-run partnership for the third wicket between captain Khurram Khan (26 off 27 balls) and Swapnil Patil (30 off 26). But wickets kept falling as they failed to put up a decent total.

In reply, Zimbabwe were in a spot of bother early on but Elton Chigumbura (53) sealed the deal.

Captain Khan reflected on the defeat and the tournament as a whole, saying the team will learn a lot from the experience.

“It was disappointing to lose. We didn’t have enough runs on the board. The wicket was slow and if we had reached 140-145, we could have done well,” Khan said.

“Dropped catches also hurt us but we still had our chances early one”

The 42-year-old added that the team, playing their first World Cup since the 1996 50-over tournament, need to improve their fitness levels.

“We’re a young side and this is our first time at this level, so we need a bit of patience. We have to work on our fitness and hopefully next time around we will do better.”

On his part, Zimbabwe skipper Brendan Taylor was pleased with his side’s effort, which unfortunately wasn’t enough to see his side through as the Netherlands beat Ireland to take the spot in the Super 10 stage.

“It was nice to see the guys coming out and playing with freedom. We were a bit more clinical today, even if we did lose a couple of early wickets. We generally underperformed, we’re a far better unit than that and hopefully we get more consistent in the future.”

A 58-run stand between Patel and Khan underpinned the UAE’s efforts, before a late cameo from Kamran Shazad (21 off 15 balls) added late impetus.

Left-arm spinner Sean Williams was the most successful bowler, with 3-15 from four overs as the UAE stuttered to 116.

In the chase, Zimbabwe were in trouble at 34-4 after seven overs, but Chigumbura turned things in their favour with an unbeaten 53 off just 21 deliveries.

The 28-year-old signalled his intentions with a six off his first delivery and two more boundaries followed in an over which cost Shazad and his team 15 runs.

Another 14 followed before the partnership was broken when Vusi Sibanda was caught and bowled by Khurram for 16, making it 63-5.

However, there were no further mishaps for Zimbabwe. Chigumbura brought up three figures for his team with a straight six which took him to 47 off 20 deliveries – and the next delivery he faced brought the same result as he secured victory for his team with 38 balls remaining.

Timycen Maruma finished with an unbeaten 22 off 14 balls, sharing in the unbroken 55-run sixth-wicket stand which took the game away from the UAE.

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Kohli shines as India once again beat Pakistan

Kuldip Lal 22/03/2014
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Spinning his web: Amit Mishra (2nd r) picked up 2-22 from his four overs.

India extended their domination over Pakistan in World Cup events with a seven-wicket demolition of their arch-rivals in the Super 10 round of the World Twenty20 in Dhaka. 

Leg-spinner Amit Mishra grabbed two wickets for 22 runs in four overs as India kept Pakistan down to 130-7 after electing to field in the Group II match at the Sher-e- Bangla Stadium.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma then gave India a flying start with a 54-run opening stand in eight overs as Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men surpassed the modest total with nine deliveries to spare.

India slipped to 65-3 before Virat Kohli (36 not out) and Suresh Raina (35 not out) steered their team to victory with an unfinished partnership of 66 for the fourth wicket.

Pakistan, who have never beaten India in the 50-over World Cup or the World Twenty20, found runs hard to come by against the steady Indian attack led by Mishra and Ravindra Jadeja (1-18).

Umar Akmal top-scored for Pakistan with 33 off 30 balls, but found little support at the other end as wickets fell at regular intervals on the slow pitch.

Sohaib Maqsood delighted a sellout crowd of 25,000 by smashing 15 runs in the final over bowled by Mohammed Shami, before being run out off the last ball for a 11-ball 21.

Pakistan, who lost opener Kamran Akmal in the second over, moved to 44-1 by the eighth over when India hit back with two wickets in the space of three runs.

India restricted Pakistan to 50-3 at the half-way stage of the innings, before 13 runs in the 11th over bowled by left-arm spinner Yuvraj Singh appeared to lift the pressure.

Umar Akmal and Shoaib Malik (18) produced the best partnership in the innings, adding 50 for the fourth wicket, but none of the other batsmen settled in to rescue the faltering innings.

India’s openers Rohit Sharma and Dhawan overcame a relatively slow start to reach 38 after the powerplay, the latter cracking four boundaries in the same period.

Sharma helped himself to two sixes, but Dhawan’s surge ended on 30 when he was caught hooking at fine leg by Saeed Ajmal off Umar Gul.

Ajmal then turned wicket-taker by bowling Sharma for 24 in the 10th over and India were in some danger when Yuvraj’s stumps were knocked over by Bilawal Bhatti’s first delivery.

However, Kohli steadied the innings while Raina, who was dropped early on by Afridi in the slips, powered his way to 35 off 28.

The duo helped take the momentum away from Pakistan, Kohli (36 not out) setting up the final run-in with boundaries off Afridi and Raina completing the honours with a six and a single off Gul.

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Nepal stun Afghanistan to record historic World T20 victory

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History created: Nepal players express their delight at defeating Afghanistan.

First-timers Nepal upset a higher ranked and more experienced Afghanistan by nine runs in Sylhet to record their second win in the World Twenty20 tournament on Thursday.

Nepal, sent in to bat, were lifted by opener Subash Khakurel's career-best 56 to 141-5 and restricted their opponents to 132-8 in a Group A match.

The defeat meant Afghanistan lost two of their three matches and failed to reach the next round.

Paceman Jitendra Mukhiya, who finished with 3-18 in four overs, jolted Afghanistan with two early wickets, while spinner Shakti Gauchan took two wickets in one over to leave Afghanistan in tatters on 50-5.

Shafiqullah Shafiq (36) and Asghar Stanikzai (49) did their best to stop the collapse.

But a 24-run target in the last over proved way beyond Afghanistan's reach. Nepal skipper Paras Khadka showed delight in the win.

"Afghanistan are a good team and this win showed we are improving with every day and it was a very good tournament for us," said Khadka whose country played their first-ever major cricket event.

Afghanistan captain Mohammad Nabi was upset at the defeat.

"It was a big event but we didn't start well and didn't finish it well either, so we are upset," said Nabi.

Earlier Khakurel anchored the Nepalese innings with some sensible batting, adding an invaluable 76 for the fourth wicket with Sharad Vesawkar who made 37.

Khakurel hit six boundaries and a six during his 53-ball knock before falling to paceman Shapoor Zadran, the best of the Afghan bowlers with 2-19.

Nepal will now await the outcome of the last match in the group, with hosts Bangladesh needing a win against the United Arab Emirates to go through to the next round.

Ireland, the Netherlands and Zimbabwe are in contention to qualify for the next round from Group B.

The top team from each group will join eight seeded teams in the Super-10 stage, starting Friday.

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