The UAE ended their 2020 World Twenty20 West Asia preliminary qualifying campaign on a winning note as they thrashed Qatar by nine wickets in Friday’s final.
Both sides were already assured of a place in the Asia Qualifiers before a ball was bowled after finishing in the top two places in the group.
However, the UAE showed why they topped the standings with five consecutive wins with another dominant display in Kuwait.
Qatar posted 115 in their 20 overs after Mohammad Naveed (3-22) and Zahoor Khan (3-16) impressed with the ball, but the UAE were in always in control of their chase.
Ashfaq Ahmed (26) and wicket-keeper Ghulam Shabbir, who replaced Chirag Suri at the top of the innings, gave the team a solid start with a half-century stand.
Ahmed fell but Shabbir continued to pile on the runs and ended unbeaten on 63.
The 32-year-old was in fine form with the bat as he smashed eight boundaries and one six in his 46 deliveries.
At the other end, captain Rohan Mustafa was 30 not out as UAE reached their target with ease in the 15th over.
The result means the UAE ended the West Asia tournament with a 100 per cent record after beating Qatar, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain in the last seven days.
Among the players to impress for the UAE was youngster Fahad Nawaz, who had a memorable campaign in Kuwait.
The 18-year-old took four wickets in his two games including on his debut.
“It’s been a great learning experience for me,” he said.
“Being with the senior guys and competing with them was great and has boosted my confidence and my overall game.”
Joining Qatar and the UAE in the Asia Qualifiers – the next stage of the 2020 World Twenty20 qualifying are Kuwait who defeated Saudi Arabia by five runs earlier on Friday.
The trio will face the three best sides of Asia’s Eastern nations in the Asia Qualifiers.
The Asian East qualifiers that will be played in October, consists of Nepal, Malaysia, Singapore, Bhutan, China, Myanmar and Thailand.
Their 86-run win against hosts Kuwait was their fifth consecutive victory in the six-team tournament.
Prior to the match, head coach Dougie Brown challenged his players to end the competition on a high after booking their place in the Asia Qualifiers following their fourth consecutive victory against the Maldives on Tuesday.
And the UAE took Brown’s words on board with a dominant performance against the hosts. Openers Suri and Ashfaq Ahmed made a blistering start by putting on a 63-run stand in just five overs before the latter fell for 36.
While Mustafa (31) and Muhammad Usman (26) weighed in, it was Suri who kept piling the runs at a fast-rate and he ended up with 86.
The 22-year-old’s knock came from 52 deliveries, including six fours and five sixes as the UAE reached 201-4 – their highest T20 total in the tournament.
The target proved to be too much for the hosts with only three batsmen reaching double figures. Mustafa took 3-18, while Naveed finished with 3-20 as Kuwait reached 115-8.
DBMSC have won quite a few local indoor cricket tournaments but instead of keeping the prize money from the Saudi German Hospital Challengers Cup, each member of the club donated their shares to the less fortunate in Pakistan.
Their ‘A’ side won the Gold Division at the ICC Academy, before their ‘B’ team made it a double celebration by winning the Silver Division crown.
While they got their hands on the winning trophy, the club followed in the footsteps of their team-mate Rohan Mustafa by donating the winning funds of Dh3,000 to charity.
Mustafa, who missed the competition due to international commitments with the UAE national team, recently donated more than Dh8,000 – funds sold from a motorbike that he won in a T20 Nepal tournament, to a charity in Pakistan that helps orphans.
And touched by the gesture, DBMSC supported Mustafa by doing the same.
Amit Chaturvedi, from DBMSC, said: “Our team-mate and UAE captain Rohan Mustafa has decided to support kids in Pakistan who have lost their family by helping them financially through education and sports in a small way, so as a team we wanted to stand behind this clause by dedicating this victory & earnings for a noble cause.”
The @sghemirates Challengers Cup finals will be remembered as a double glory for the DBMSC –A & B teams, who won both Gold & Silver divisions. DBMSC – A bounced back strongly in a low scoring game after a blow in the last Challengers Cup from Fujisoft Falcons – A. #ICCAcademy pic.twitter.com/Vghiwu8kJF— ICC Academy (@ICCAcademy) April 21, 2018
Mustafa thanked his ‘supportive’ team-mates for the kind gesture.
“I was not aware of it and only came to know of it when they sent the video (of the speech donating the money to charity) to me on WhatsApp,” said Mustafa, who regularly donates money to charity in Pakistan after his father died when the UAE captain was just 14.
“It was very nice of them and they are very supportive people. I was really happy for them to win the title and it shows that you can help anyone.”