UAE players celebrating their victory over Ireland in the Twenty20 World Cup opener against Ireland at Al Amerat in Oman on Friday. Image Credit: Source: ICC

Dubai: UAE coach Robin Singh adopts a cautious approach and is not willing to let his guard down after a 18-run win over favourites Ireland, thanks to a magnificent knock from Vriitya Aravind, in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers at Al Amerat in Oman on Friday

Speaking to Gulf News after the victory Robin Singh said: “Vriitya played a magnificent knock. His calm and composed effort gave UAE a good total to defend.”

The 19-year-old UAE batter came in to the wicket in the second over after in-form opener Chirag Suri was dismissed for a nought off the last ball of the first over. Anand remained unbeaten on 97 after 20 overs, with just 60 runs coming from the rest of the batters. Aravind missed a deserving century and his knock contained 13 fours and a six.

Cautious start

Chasing a target of 158, Ireland openers Paul Stirling and skipper Andy Balbirnie made a cautious start to take their side to 50 for no loss at the end of power play overs. Karthik Meiyappan struck in the very first ball of his spell as he had Stirling caught by Muhammad Waseem in the deep for 32. Balbirnie left soon after and Gareth Delany was Meiyappan’s second wicket, who also accounted for Simi Singh to leave Ireland struggling at 66-4.

Ireland didn’t really recover from that jolt and were reduced to 139/9 in 20 overs.

“It’s excellent bowling performance by the group and the fast bowlers Junaid Siddique and Zahoor Khan in particular,” added Robin.

After having beaten Ireland, what next for the UAE? “The pressure is always on to reach the semi-finals first and we are not taking anything for granted,” he said.

Vriitya Aravind
Vriitya Aravind receives the player of the match award for his unbeaten 97. Image Credit: Source: ICC

Ahmed Raza, captain of UAE, was pleased with the win. “We had a good quadrangular series here and I am glad at the momentum we have right now. Vriitya [Aravind] played an amazing innings and glad to watch the team’s young members doing well. He and Karthik [Meiyappan] are just 19- and 21-year-olds,” he said in a statement released by the ICC.

Oman lose to Nepal

Hosts Oman suffered a stunning loss to Nepal in a low-scoring game earlier on Friday. Defending a total of 117, Nepal bowlers, led by their skipper and leg-spinner Sandeep Lamichhane, had the hosts batters at sea as they collapsed to 78 in 17 overs.

Kamal Airee was the most successful bowler with three for 15 while Lamichhane picked up two for 20 and was ably supported by off-spinner Dipendra Airee, who claimed two for 15.

Canada’s Matthew Spoors stroked a 66-ball century (108 not out) and shared a 149-run opening wicket stand with Rayyan Pathan, who hit a 44-ball 73, in their 118-run win over debutants Philippines.

A dream spell by leg-spinner Junaid Aziz, who picked five wickets in ten balls and a captain’s knock by Sarfaraz Ali, who smashed an unbeaten 69 off 38 balls, led Bahrain to a six-wicket win over Germany at the Oman Academy ground 2.