The UAE will take their place among the giants of international cricket after victory over Namibia on Thursday assured them of a place at the 2015 Cricket World Cup.
It will be the UAE’s second appearance at a World Cup having qualified for the 1996 tournament, although it is safe to say the team will be much better equipped this time around.
The all-important 36-run victory over Namibia took place at the Mainpower Oval in Rangiora, New Zealand.
UAE captain Khurram Khan won the toss and put his side in to bat, where they posted 263 – a total Namibia were unable to close down.
There was not to be another match-winning innings from Khan, who prior to Thursday’s clash was averaging 83 from six matches played, although the 42-year-old did muster a solid 49-run knock.
Opener Amjad Ali and Shaiman Anwar also got themselves into the 40s, while Swapnil Patil’s 38 helped ensure a competitive total for the UAE.
Namibia paceman Louis Klazinga was the pick of the bowlers, collecting an impressive five wickets in 8.5 overs for the loss of just 36 runs.
Namibia made a solid start to their innings, but the southern African nation struggled to put together a big enough partnership to trouble the UAE.
Sarel Burger (54) and Gerrie Snyman (48) led the fightback but Namibia’s run rate ultimately proved too small to trouble the UAE.
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