UAE Waseem-1713720456092
UAE captain Muhammad Waseem celebrates his century against Oman in the ACC Premier Cup at Al Ameerat ground in Oman on Sunday. Image Credit: Source: X/@EmiratesCricket

Dubai: UAE captain Muhammad Waseem led from the front to guide his team to a brilliant 55-run win over Oman in the ACC Premier Cup at Al Ameerat ground in Oman on Sunday.

The win ensured UAE qualified for the 2025 Asia Cup Twenty20 tournament.

“It’s a great feeling that the team has qualified for the Asia Cup 2025. We are really happy and looking forward to it,” an elated UAE head coach Lalchand Rajput said. “The best thing is that we will be playing against the top teams like India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. I think we have not qualified for the last couple of years so it’s a big feeling and the boys are really happy,” he added.

Put in to bat first, UAE found themselves in the comfort zone early in the innings with Waseem smashing three consecutive sixes off Bilal Khan in the third over.

That triggered a fine partnership between the skipper and Alishan Sharafu as the duo put on a fine 93 runs inside 10 overs. Sharafu was the first one to depart after scoring a fruitful 34 from 28 balls including two boundaries and as many sixes.

Waseem continued to dominate at the other end and kept the scoreboard ticking and reached a well-deserved century in just 56 deliveries consisting of six fours and seven sixes.

Asif Khan chipped in with a fine 38 from only 16 deliveries (five fours and two sixes) as UAE posted an impressive 204 for four in 20 overs.

Under pressure

Already under pressure hosts Oman fumbled in the very first over with Kashyap Prajapati succumbing for just one in the third ball of the innings. That was Junaid Siddique’s first of the three wickets. He accounted for one more three balls later to remove Naseem Khushi for a duck.

Siddique’s third wicket didn’t take much long as he got rid of Aqib Ilyas (14) to put Oman in a state of bother. A couple of more wickets in the middle saw Oman collapse from 54-4 to 58-6. Khalid Kail (30) was the only one who showed some resistance. Pratik Athavale (49) and Fayyaz Butt (23 not out) put on a late fight but it was too late for Oman to wage a comeback as they managed 149 for nine in 20 overs to hand UAE a big win.

“It was a big day and a big final for us. The captain led from the front with a brilliant hundred and that sealed the game for us.

So overall the team environment is very good and very positive and all are looking forward to the Asia Cup. Now the focus will be to qualify for the World Cup,” Rajput said.

Brief scores; UAE 204-4 in 20 overs (Alishan Sharafu 34, Muhammad Waseem 100, Asif Khan 38 n.o; Bilal Khan 2/35) bt Oman 149-9 in 20 overs (Khalid Kail 30, Pratik Athavale 49, Fayyaz Butt 23 n.o; Junaid Siddique 3/39, Muhammad Farooq 2/30, Aayan Khan 2/29) by 55 runs.