The UAE secured their first win of the Asian Cricket Council Premier League after edging past Hong Kong in a low-scoring encounter that went right down to the wire.
Chasing just 158 for victory, Aaqib Javed’s side were reduced to 93-7 in the 30th over as opener Salman Faris, captain Khurram Khan and wicket-keeper Swapnil Patil all failed to make it to double figures.
However, a superb ninth wicket partnership between number seven Fayyaz Ahmed and bowler Mohammad Naveed saw the UAE squeeze home and claim a vital win after losing their first two matches to Nepal and Afghanistan.
Hong Kong had also suffered consecutive defeats and had started the match brightly with opener Irfan Ahmed making 30 from 35 deliveries before being clean bowled by Kamran Shazad.
In fact there were starts for all of the Hong Kong batsman, with the top eight all managing to reach double figures before losing their wicket.
It was Shazad and his namesake Mohammad doing the damage with the ball as both bowlers combined to claim seven wickets and help restrict Hong Kong to just 157 from 45.2 overs.
Once again Amjad Ali impressed at the top of the order for the UAE as he hit 39 from 64 balls, but the wickets tumbled at the other end with Faris falling for a duck; Khan for just two and Patil for five.
Shaiman Anwar and Ali managed to somewhat steady the ship as they took the score from 24-3 to 72-2 before Irfan Ahmed claimed the wicket of Anwar for 22.
The trio of Tanwir Afzal, Haseeb Amjad and Ahmed were doing the damage with the ball and after reducing the UAE to 122-8 they would have believed that a first win was on the way.
But a gritty knock of 37 not out from Ahmed and 16 from just 24 balls from Naveed was enough to see the UAE home with more than an over to spare.
Captain Khan’s side will be in action again on Monday when they play Malaysia, before ending the tournament against Oman.
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