UAE fall to close World T20 Qualifier defeat against Papua New Guinea but still in contention of reaching semi-finals

Denzil Pinto 21:21 08/07/2018
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Spirited effort: Subha Srinivasan took 3-13 and scored 22 for UAE. Image: ICC

The UAE must beat Bangladesh on Tuesday to keep their 2020 World Twenty20 qualification hopes alive after they fell to an agonising two-wicket loss against Papua New Guinea (PNG).

At Amstelveen on Sunday afternoon, the UAE nearly pulled off an unlikely victory when they took four wickets in the last four overs to leave PNG needing six from seven deliveries. But PNG scraped past the finishing line to reach their 84-run target with one ball remaining.

Victory against PNG would have guaranteed a semi-final berth for the UAE but Murali Sockalingam’s side will have to beat newly-crowned Asian Twenty20 champions Bangladesh in their final group game to guarantee their road of reaching the showpiece event in West Indies.

The UAE had little time to rest following their stunning six-wicket win over hosts Netherlands on Saturday.

But unlike their remarkable run-chase where they successfully reached their target of 138 against the Dutch thanks to Nisha Ali’s half-century, the UAE struggled with the bat.

After surviving the first seven overs, the UAE lost their first wicket and by the 12th over, half of their batting line-up had been dismissed with the scorecard reading 45-7.

Subha Srinivasan (22) and Roopa Nagraj (10) then put on a vital 29-run stand. By the time Srinivasan became the sixth batswoman to be run-out off the final delivery, the UAE gave themselves a fighting chance with 83 on the board.

With PNG hitting 84 runs in their eight-wicket defeat to Asian Twenty20 champions Bangladesh on Saturday, the UAE bowlers had their work cut out.

Nagraj got the UAE’s first wicket in the second over before former Sri Lanka all-rounder Chamani Seneviratna added another. With 11 runs needed from 24 deliveries, PNG was in a dominant position but survived a scare when Srinivasan (3-13) took two scalps in one over while Kavisha Egodage (1-15) pegged them back.

Ali, who scored two runs with the bat, was effective with two run-outs in the three overs but PNG kept their cool and got the required run to keep themselves in contention.

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