Imran Haider says Australia's Glenn Maxwell is best-ever wicket he's taken for the UAE

Denzil Pinto 23/10/2018
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Rewarded: Imran Haider

UAE spinner Imran Haider says he will cherish the wicket of Glenn Maxwell for a long time after ranking the Australian as the most high-profile scalp he’s taken in his international career.

Haider, 30, removed Maxwell for just 18 when the batsman was caught by Ahmed Raza in Monday’s first-ever official T20 international against the Baggy Green in Abu Dhabi.

Although the tourists went on to win by seven wickets, Haider was pleased to add to his tally with another elite cricketer’s scalp. Earlier this year, he dismissed Chris Gayle in the World Cup Qualifier while three years ago, against England at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, he took the wickets of Moeen Ali and Sam Billings in an unofficial match.

But he insists stopping Maxwell, one of T20’s most celebrated batsmen who has four fifties and two centuries to his name, sits top of his list.

“In international cricket, Glenn Maxwell is one of the big names in the world, especially in T20 cricket, so it was great to get him out,” said Haider. “He is a fantastic batsman who has played so much cricket around the world. We put him under pressure and bowled strongly against him. He wasn’t able to play his shots that he would usually. Before the match we were all targeting him so it was great that it was me who stopped his innings.

Glenn Maxwell was removed by Imran Haider on Monday

Glenn Maxwell was removed by Imran Haider on Monday

“It’s a proud moment although I would have loved to have been on the winning side.”

The two nations were meant to play in a warm-up match, with the Australians using the fixture as vital match practice ahead of their three-match T20I series against Pakistan, beginning on Wednesday.

But last week, with the support of the Pakistan Cricket Board, the ICC sanctioned the match as an international T20.

With Pakistan playing their ‘home’ matches in the UAE, Haider hopes this match will be just the start for more internationals against Test nations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“We must thank everyone who has helped put this game together and make it an international T20,” added Haider. “It is a big deal for us. If there are more games like these it wouldn’t just be beneficial to myself but for the whole of the UAE team. It would boost our confidence and help improve our game going forward.

“Although we scored a low total of 117, we put on a spirited display which we can learn from.”

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D'Arcy Short and Amir Hayat impress as Australia beat UAE in one-off T20

Denzil Pinto 22/10/2018
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D’Arcy Short scored his fourth T20 international half-century as his unbeaten 68 saw Australia claim a seven-wicket victory against the UAE on Monday.

Chasing 118 at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Ovals, Short hit 68 from 53 deliveries including eight fours as the Australians reached their target of 118 in the 16th over. Medium-pacer Amir Hayat was the pick of the bowlers for the hosts after finishing with 2-26.

Earlier, the UAE recovered from a poor start, going from 17-3 to post 117-6 with Shaiman Anwar top-scoring with 41. Pacers Billy Stanlake and Nathan Coulter-Nile were the standout bowlers with identical figures of 2-20 from their four overs apeice.

Here are the talking points from the first official T20 between both sides:

Stanlake and Coulter-Nile return

Stanlake and Coulter-Nile will be hoping their two-wicket hauls help them press their case for selection for next year’s World Cup. On a wicket that usually suits the spinners, the pacers were effective as they troubled the UAE batsmen from the very first ball.

The 23-year-old Stanlake has been playing non-stop cricket for the past four months and that helped him hit the right lines immediately. Since the start of the year, the Queensland native has been on fire with Monday’s efforts taking him to 18 wickets in 13 T20Is.

Coulter-Nile was back in national colours for the first time in almost a year following back injury. He found his rhythm in the domestic circuit, taking 10 wickets in five matches. More performances like these, beginning against Pakistan from Wednesday and it will be hard for selectors to ignore them.

Solid T20I debut for UAE’s Hayat

It’s not even been a full year since Amir Hayat made his UAE debut and he seems to be getting better every game. He was the standout bowler for the hosts with figures of 2-26, not bad for someone who was playing his first T20 International. Hayat, who took 24 wickets in 25 matches prior to the game, made a fine start by not allowing captain Aaron Finch to settle at the crease – having him caught for one – and took another big wicket when he removed T20 specialist Chris Lynn for 20. It might have come in a losing cause but Hayat won’t forget the day he dismissed two high-profile cricketers in the UAE capital in his first T20 International.

UAE put on a good show against Australia

UAE put on a good show against Australia

UAE need more fixtures against Test nations

While elite nations regularly tour the UAE either on a stop-over to the subcontinent or to face Pakistan, Dougie Brown’s side have not had many opportunities of testing themselves against top teams. West Indies and England are among two they have faced on home turf in the last three years but those were unofficial games. Monday’s game against Australians would have been the same had the ICC not granted the fixture international status. Although it was a one-sided affair, the experience the UAE players take from the match will be crucial as it’s not every day they get to rub shoulders with the world’s best. It is imperative that this isn’t a one-off.

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UAE's Mohammad Naveed helps secure maiden win for Kandahar Knights in APL T20

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UAE pacer Mohammad Naveed.

UAE fast bowler Mohammad Naveed continued his excellent form in the Afghanistan Premier League in Sharjah as he was among the wickets once again.

Naveed, playing for Kandahar Knights, picked up 2-10 from three overs as he helped his team defend a target of 137 against Nangarhar Leopards on Saturday.

He first got Kiwi opener Anton Devcich for a duck before dismissing middle order batsman Hashmatullah Shahidi for 23 to restrict the Leopards to 110 and secure a 26-run win.

It was the third match of the tournament for Naveed and he has picked up a wicket in all three games. He opened his campaign with 1-33 against Kabul Zwanan before picking up 2-34 against Paktia Panthers.

It was the maiden win of the tournament for Kandahar after four defeats.

His effort meant Afghan ace Mujeeb Ur Rahman’s 4-16 went in vain. The Leopards spinner had reduced Kandahar to 75-8 before a late charge by Karim Janat (40) added some respectability to the total.

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