Ashfaq Ahmed and Rohan Mustafa help UAE clinch T20 series win over Netherlands

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UAE's Rohan Mustafa (file photo).

UAE took a winning 3-0 lead in the four-match T20 series against Netherlands on Tuesday following a 14-run win.

Batting first at Sportpark Westvliet, The Hague, UAE were powered by another substantial knock by opener Ashfaq Ahmed who hit 56 from 41 balls to lay the foundation of a competitive total of 152-8.

Almost the entire top and middle order reached double figures but only Ashfaq made it count. The opener hit a fifty in the opening T20 and followed that up with 25 in the second.

For the Dutch, Sebastiaan Braat was the best bowler with figures of 3-26 from his four overs, which included the scalp of Ashfaq. Opening seamer Hidde Overdijk took 2-23 while spinner Pieter Seelaar had another fruitful outing, picking up 2-21.

In reply, UAE bowlers stayed on top throughout the 20 overs. Opener Max O’Dowd hit his second fifty from three games but his 65 from 54 balls was not enough as the team could only reach 138-9.

Seamer Qadeer Ahmed gave nothing away, finishing with 2-18 from his four overs while former skipper Rohan Mustafa took 3-30 with his off-spin.

UAE had won the first T20 by 13 runs and the second by five wickets. The fourth and final match of the series will played at The Hague on Thursday.

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UAE appoint Monty Desai as batting coach of senior team

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Monty Desai. Image: Cricket Canada/Twitter

The Emirates Cricket Board on Sunday announced the appointment of Monty Desai as the batting coach of the national team.

Desai has been brought on board to develop and strengthen the UAE batting line-up while assisting head coach Dougie Brown.

Desai comes in with experience under his belt, having worked with teams like Nepal, Canada and Afghanistan across formats. He was Afghanistan’s batting coach during their World Cup qualification in Zimbabwe in 2018. Desai was also Canada’s head coach in their ICC World Cricket League Division 2 campaign.

Not only that, Desai has been an important member of the coaching staff of Indian Premier League franchises Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat Lions. He has also worked at the state-level, where he was most recently the head coach of Andhra during the 2018-2019 Indian domestic season.

On the appointment, Zayed Abbas, Emirates Cricket Board member and spokesperson, said: “UAE cricket is embarking on an exceptionally busy playing schedule where we have three important tournaments for two of our representative sides; the ICC U19’s Cricket World Cup campaign (2020), our Senior Men’s ICC World T20 qualifiers (2019) as well as the Senior Men’s ICC World Cricket League Division 2 matches.

“The importance of securing success in all three campaigns is of the highest priority, and it is imperative we provide quality resources to reach our goal. We welcome Monty to this role and look forward to seeing positive results from his influence and expertise,” added Abbas.

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UAE begin tour of Netherlands with T20 win in Amstelveen

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Darius D'Silva made his UAE T20 debut. Image: Sander Tholen/ Netherlands Cricket.

The UAE began their tour of the Netherlands with a thrilling 13-run win in Amstelveen.

The four-match T20 series began with the UAE batting first at the VRA Ground. Fifty from opener Ashfaq Ahmed (54) and attacking innings from Muhammad Usman (52 from 34 balls) and debutant Darius D’Silva (24 off 15) ensured the UAE reached a more than competitive total of 181-5.

Vivian Kingma ticked up two wickets for the Dutch but conceded 47 runs from his four overs. The best bowler for the hosts was left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar who went for just 20 runs in his four overs and picked up the scalp of Rameez Shahzad.

In reply, the UAE bowlers didn’t let the Dutch get off to a quick start as the openers reached 54 but only by the end of the eighth over. Former captain Rohan Mustafa was the best bowler on show, picking up two wickets – Ben Cooper and Scott Edwards – while giving away just 26 runs.

While the Dutch lost just four wickets, they could only finish on 168. Opener Max O’Dowd top-scored for the Dutch with 51 off 35 balls.

The second match of the series will be played at the same venue on Monday.

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