UAE batter Asif Khan continued to torment his rivals with another superlative knock against Jersey in the Playoffs in Namibia. Image Credit: Source: ECB Twitter

Dubai: Leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan and the consistent Asif Khan guided UAE to a 66-run win over Jersey in their final match of the World Cup Qualifier Playoffs in Windhoek in Namibia on Wednesday. The victory enabled UAE to rightfully cement their place in the 10-team ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifiers to be held in Zimbabwe later this year.

UAE will join USA, Sri Lanka, the Netherlands, West Indies and Zimbabwe along with Scotland, Oman and Nepal in the Qualifiers, to grab two spots for the 50-over World Cup to be held in India in October and November.

Stunning rise

UAE cricket has been seeing a phenomenal rise in the last couple of years. The UAE colts won the Under-19 World Cup Plate title and also scored their first win in a World Cup in 24 years, defeating Namibia by seven runs in the group stage of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in October last year. Meiyappan also etched his name on the record books after claiming a hat-trick against Sri Lanka in the first round.

Leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan celebrates with teammates after getting one of his four wickets. Image Credit: Source: EBC Twitter

Doing the star turn

The 22-year-old again did the star turn with a four-wicket haul, which came at a time when the match was threatening to go Jersey’s way. Leg-spinner Meiyappan had also claimed four wickets in the opener against PNG on March 27. The UAE bowlers turned the screws on the Jersey batters, not allowing them any room to stay in the chase, led by opener Harrison Carlyon’s 85. Junaid Siddique hastened the end with two wickets in two balls to finish with three wickets and bring Jersey’s innings to an end at 218 in 44.5 overs. The UAE pacer also reached a landmark of 50 wickets in ODIs.

Electing to bat first, it was once again skipper Muhammad Waseem who set the platform along with the talented Vriitya Aravind, who played as a specialist batter today as one of the two debutants Aryansh Sharma kept the wickets. Young all-rounder Ansh Tandon also got his maiden cap in One Day Internationals.

UAE pacer Junaid Siddique hastened the end with two wickets in two balls. Image Credit: Source: ECB Twitter

Asif Khan, who has been having a phenomenal run with the bat since he moved lower down the order, again came to the UAE’s rescue when the team were in trouble at 147 for five. The subdued run-a-ball knock of 82 was enough to give the UAE a healthy target to defend.

UAE have finished their campaign in Namibia with four wins from five matches and took the second spot behind USA, also one eight points. This successful campaign, where the entire team got their form back, augurs well for the Qualifiers and should give them enough confidence to take on the best.