Dubai: The UAE finished their Group B fixtures to remain unbeaten as they thrashed Bahrain by a massive 114 runs in their last league match in the Asian Cricket Council Twenty20 Cup in Nepal on Sunday.
The result ensured the UAE finish on the top of Group B table with four wins and eight points and will now face Nepal in the semi-finals on Tuesday. Afghanistan, who finished below the UAE, will play Group A table toppers Hong Kong in the other last four clash.
Electing to bat, UAE piled on a massive 226 for five in 20 overs with opener Abdul Shakoor topscoring with a brilliant 84 off 45 deliveries.
Shakoor made his intentions clear from the very start — dealing with only boundaries and sixes early in the innings. While he smashed 11 boundaries, his five sixes also included three successive off Jamal Mohammad.
He shared two good half-century partnerships, putting UAE in a very strong position. The first 57 runs with Amjad Javed (22, 15b, 3x4) for the second wicket and the second with Rohan Mustafa for 53 before Shakoor departed.
Mustafa and Mohammad Azam took it from there to share a fantastic 52-run partnership for the fifth wicket before Mustafa, who scored 35 off 20 deliveries including a boundary and three sixes succumbed.
Azam then went on a run riot smashing four boundaries and two sixes to remain unbeaten on 47 from 26 deliveries. Though he was unlucky to miss out on his half-century, he had ensured UAE were firmly placed crossing the 200-run mark at the end of 20 overs.
In reply, Bahrain opener Arshad Latif (19) made a positive start, but with a tall target to chase, the rest of the batsmen fell like a pack of cards to some brilliant UAE bowling attack.
Brief scores: UAE bt Bahrain by 114 runs. UAE 226 for five in 20 overs (Abdul Shakoor 84, Amjad Javed 22, Rohan Mustafa 35, Mohammad Azam 47 not out) Bahrain 112 for eight in 20 overs (Arshad Latif 19, Hardeep Singh 16; Adil Reyal 2 for 27).