Shaiman Anwar’s brutal half century and an impressive bowling display from Fayyaz Ahmed helped the UAE defeat Malaysia and secure a second successive victory in the Asian Cricket Council Premier League.
Having lost their opening two games to Nepal and Afghanistan, coach Aaqib Javed had demanded more from his side and has clearly found a response.
After edging past Hong Kong on Sunday it was a far more straight forward victory in Kuala Lumpar just one day later as the UAE chased down a target of 159 in just 25.4 overs.
Opener Amjad Ali continued his impressive form by hitting 43 from 49 balls, while captain Khurram Khan finally managed to make his mark on the tournament as he hit a run-a-ball 37.
But the real fireworks came when Anwar arrived at the crease as the vastly experienced 35-year-old hit three sixes and five fours to finish on 53 from just 33 deliveries.
It was a vast improvement from the match against Hong Kong when the UAE labored to victory; requiring just 158 they would lose eight wickets and score at just three an over as they eventually sealed the win in the 49th over.
While the batting performance will have thrilled Javed, perhaps even more pleasing will have been his side's performance in the field as they restricted Malaysia to just 158 thanks to some fine bowling and excellent fielding.
Ahmed was the pick of the bowlers as the slow left-armer took 3 for just 12 from 4.4 overs, while Mohammad Naveed (2-32) and Mohammad Shahzad (2-23) would also impress.
Khan and Kamran Shazad would also claim a wicket-a-piece and there was an impressive piece of work in the field from Ahmed Raza and wicket-keeper Swapnil Patil who combined superbly to run out Khizar Hayat.
The UAE now sit fourth in the table after four games but the three teams above them all have the same record of three wins and one loss.
Javed will hope his side can now end on a high as they face third-placed Oman on Wednesday.
Kevin Pietersen has revealed that he will open a cricket academy in Dubai at the end of the year after being hugely impressed with the facilities on offer in the city.
The captain of the Delhi Daredevils has spent the last few weeks playing in the United Arab Emirates in the Indian Premier League and has clearly been impressed with the country’s passion for the game.
His first academy will open in Dubai, with a second set to be unveiled in India at a later date.
"I am going to start a cricket academy in Dubai in October. The venue is not confirmed yet but it will be a state-of-the-art facility.
"There will be various courses which will be taught and we will train kids from the age of seven to 18. We will also encourage kids from all over the world to come to take up the course for two weeks.
“I am going to fund a lot of disadvantaged kids and will have a hands-on approach towards the academy.”
Pietersen added: "We chose Dubai because of its central location. The facilities there are magnificent. The opportunity arose last year and we grabbed it. We are expecting kids from all around the world and will also be funding disadvantaged kids.
“After Dubai, the second academy is going to be set up in India for sure. It is high on priority.”
Having been axed from the England set-up Pietersen has been playing in various Twenty20 tournaments around the world but it seems he is also keen to nurture the next generation of cricketers.
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.