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UAE teenager Aayan Afzal Khan (left) has been in impressive form with the ball during the ACC Premier Cup in Oman. Image Credit: Source: ECB X

Dubai: Young UAE all-rounder Aayan Afzal Khan, who has been in impressive form in the Asian Cricket Council Premier Cup Twenty20 tournament in Oman, is confident of overturning Nepal’s advantage in the semi-finals at Al Ameerat on Friday.

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The 18-year-old grabbed two player of the match awards in the four league games with two three-wicket hauls with his left-arm spin, feels the Oman pitches will suit UAE better and the team’s morale is high despite losing a rain-affected Group B match against hosts Oman.

“Nepal have played well in the last few years. They have done well against us and they might have a slight edge in head-to-head record, but the conditions here in Oman are similar to the one at home. So we have the advantage in the semi-finals,” Aayan told Gulf News from Oman.

Right mix of young and experience

“Nepal have some good players, but UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem is an experienced player and we have some strong players and there are plenty of newcomers who are ready to prove a point.”

The UAE have been clinical in their show and with a right mix of young and experience, the Waseem-led team are eager to win the next two games to book their place in the next edition of the Asia Cup. The big-hitting opener has regained his scoring touch this season and the right-hander, who has been the best UAE player in the two editions of the DP World ILT20, will be the key. Waseem has the big-match temperament and the UAE will be hoping that he stays longer against Nepal.

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UAE skipper Muhammad Waseem carries a lot of hope on his shoulders in the knockout semi-finals against Nepal. Image Credit: Source: ECB X

Sharafu in top form

Young opener Alishan Sharafu has found an extra gear to maintain his consistency. In the four matches, Sharafu has scores of 90 not out, 78 and 21 not out with the lone failure against Oman in a truncated game. Another veteran Asif Khan will be entering the field with plenty of confidence after scoring a 41-ball century against the Himalayan nation for the fastest by an Association Nation player and fourth fastest in the history of ODI.

Aayan feels that there is no pressure on him individually and on his teammates ahead of the crucial clash.

“There is no pressure on me at all. We are all relaxed despite the clash being a knockout game. I am able to do well in this tournament and will try to do the same to my team with both the bat and the ball. It’s not for this match, but for the rest of my career with the UAE. Now I have more experience after being part of the senior team and also playing in the franchise league,” he concluded.