UAE CRICKET TEAM
UAE team defeated Germany to move closer to the semi-finals in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers in Oman on Saturday. Image Credit: Source: ICC

Dubai: Openers Chirag Suri and Muhammad Waseem shone in UAE’s narrow 24-run victory over debutants Germany and strengthened their chances for a spot in the semi-finals in the ICC Twenty20 World Cup qualifiers at Al Ameerat in Oman on Saturday.

After stunning Ireland on Friday, UAE continued their impressive run of form in Oman. Once again it was the top order that set the platform for the UAE’s big total. Suri (81), Waseem (50) and young Vriitya Aravind (40) endured UAE reach 191 for five in 20 overs.

“Both the openers played really well, Chirag in particular,” Robin Singh coach of the UAE team told Gulf News. “We are looking forward to the coming games.”

However, the UAE bowlers allowed the German batters, especially opener Justin Broad, to dictate terms. Had Broad got some support from rest of the batters, the minnows could have reached the target. The next highest scorer for Germany being 24 extras, including 20 wides.

Top of Group A table

“We did not bowl as well as we can, but the important thing is winning,” said a relieved Robin Singh.

UAE are on top of Group A with four points from two games, however, Ireland’s win over Bahrain in Saturday’s game has revived the Test-playing nation’s aspirations.

UAE captain Ahmed Raza, in a statement released by ICC, said: “The match went much closer than we expected. Having put up a good total on board, we possibly were a bit complacent. Germany fought hard but glad that we have got the second win under our belt.”

Learning experience

Venkat Ganesan, captain of Germany, said: “I am proud of my team. Taking the match so close is an achievement for us. UAE are the best side in the tournament. At one stage, we thought that the target could be achieved. For us, it is a learning experience, and we continue to benefit each day with our maiden participation in the global qualifiers.”

UAE face Bahrain in their final game and will target victory to ensure that they don’t have to depend on other results.

“It’s not just the next game, every match is important. We need to play all well,” Robin Singh added.

In Group B, Nepal recorded their second consecutive win, defeating Philippines by a resounding 136-run margin, while hosts Oman outplayed Canada by nine wickets to resurrect their hopes in the qualifiers.