All-round Aryan Lakra helps UAE qualify for 2020 U19 World Cup

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UAE U19 team. Image: ICC/Twitter.

There was good news for UAE cricket fans as the junior team qualified for the 2020 U19 World Cup after emerging as Asian champions in the qualifiers in Malaysia.

Led by Aryan Lakra, UAE comfortably defeated Oman by 10 wickets at the Bayuemas Oval in Kuala Lumpur to top the Asian qualifiers with five wins out of five and make it to the U19 showpiece event in South Africa next year.

In the clash against Oman, Lakra led the way with the ball and bat, first snaring 3-27 with his left-arm spin to help bowl out Oman for a paltry 105 and then finishing the case off with an unbeaten 51 as UAE reached the target in the 13th over.

Off-spinner Rishabh Mukherjee took three wickets each as well while opening seamer Akasha Tahir and Karthik Meiyappan took two each to help dismiss Oman in the 44th over.

The target was never going to bother the UAE with openers Lakra (51* off 45 balls) and Syed Haider (56* off 28) sealing a straightforward win.

Lakra was named ‘player of the match’ for the third consecutive game and was also declared ‘player of the series’. The left-handed batsman finished with 120 runs from five games along with 13 wickets from his left-arm spin. Off-spinner Muhammad Farazuddin was the other top performer for the UAE finishing with 10 wickets in the tournament.

The U19 World Cup will be held in South Africa in January-February next year. It is the second time the UAE have qualified for the tournament after hosting the 2014 edition.

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UAE gear up for historic four-match ODI series in Zimbabwe

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UAE captain Mohammad Naveed.

The UAE will take on Zimbabwe in a historic four-match ODI series, starting Wednesday.

After starting the 2018/19 season with a landmark T20I against Australia in October last year, UAE will reach another milestone when they play their first ever bilateral ODI series against a full Test nation – Zimbabwe.

“We have a very strong relationship with Zimbabwe Cricket having established a reciprocal playing agreement in 2017 which commenced with our national side playing Zimbabwe A in a five-match series during their tour of the UAE. We are thrilled that our national side will now be playing their first ODI series against a full Test nation,” Waleed Bukhatir, Emirates Cricket Board member and chief selector, said.

“This series is a testament to the quality of not only UAE’s national side, but to the growing levels and abilities of associate cricket,” added Bukhatir.

The matches will be played on April 10, 12, 14 and 16 at the Harare Sports Club. The team will be captained by Mohammad Naveed and sees the return of veteran Rohan Mustafa in the 50-over format.

UAE team: Mohammad Naveed (c), Rohan Mustafa, Ashfaq Ahmed, Shaiman Anwar, Muhammad Usman, CP Rizwan, Chirag Suri, Muhammad Boota, Ghulam Shabbir, Sultan Ahmed, Imran Haider, Amir Hayat, Zahoor Khan, Qadeer Ahmed

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UAE lose first of three ODIs against USA by five wickets despite Rameez Shahzad's half century

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[Photo credit: @EmiratesCricket/Twitter]

UAE cricket team suffered a five-wicket defeat at the hands of USA on Monday in the first of three one day internationals.

Having won the toss at the ICC Academy Ground in Dubai Sports City, UAE decided to bat first. However, they weren’t allowed to score freely.

Chirag Suri (14) and Shaiman Anwar (13) failed to get going and were both removed by Steven Taylor who also ended the resilience of Rohan Mustafa after the opener battled on for 47 from 85 deliveries.

Rameez Shahzad struck nine boundaries in his 62-ball 53 and set UAE up to finish their innings strongly, aided by support from Ghulam Shabbir (34 from 38) but Taylor picked up his wicket as well. The home team were ultimately dismissed for 209 from 48.1 overs with Taylor ending with figures of 4-38.

USA’s chase got off to a slow start as well with Xavier Marshall’s knock of 58 from 86 balls holding up one end while a couple of wickets down the other saw them in a spot of bother at 34/2 into the 10th over.

However, Aaron Jones was the chief engineer of a couple of vital partnerships, first with Marshall and then Jaskaran Malhotra who was later run out by Suri after hitting 31 runs from 42 balls.

Jones remained until the end though to expertly shepherd the visitors over the line with a fine knock of 81 from 107 deliveries that included 10 boundaries. USA achieved their target of 210 with 15 deliveries to spare and five wickets in hand.

The hosts claimed a 1-0 victory over the Americans in the two-match T20I series just prior to the ODIs, winning the second encounter after the first was abandoned due to rain. However, they now go into the remaining two matches of the series trailing 1-0.

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