Dubai: Middle order batter Asif Khan’s century goes in vain as USA scored a five-wicket win in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier Playoffs at Windhoek in Namibia on Thursday. Saiteja Mukkamalla was the chief architect of bringing USA back to winning ways with an unbeaten 120.
USA, chasing a target of 280, kept pressing the accelerator from the start to ensure that they don’t fall behind in the run-rate. A crucial 102-run third-wicket partnership between Mukkamalla and skipper Monak Patel put them firmly on track before winning with six balls to spare. UAE pacer Junaid Siddique claimed a three-wicket haul.
Electing to bat, UAE ran into early trouble, losing the dependable skipper Muhammad Waseem in the first over. However, useful contributions from Aryan Lakra, Vriitya Aravind and Rohan Mustafa kept the scoreboard ticking until Asif Khan gave the innings a perfect finish, scoring 103 off 84 balls.
The loss has pushed UAE to fourth spot in the table with two points from two matches, while Canada lead the chart with four points from two games. Hosts Namibia and USA occupy the second and third positions with four points from three contests. UAE next play Canada in a must-win game on Saturday as only the top two teams qualify for the Qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe.