UAE captain Aryan Lakra
UAE captain Aryan Lakra receives the man of the match award from ICC officials after a five-wicket haul against Kuwait. Image Credit: ICC

Dubai: UAE skipper Aryan Lakra produced a deadly five-wicket spell to wreck Kuwait and record an emphatic seven-wicket win to strengthen his team’s chances of qualifying for the ICC Under-19 World Cup.

Kuwait were bowled out for a paltry 56 runs in just 26 overs through Lakra’s spell of 5-22, well supported by Mohammad Farazuddin (3-12) and Palaniapan Meiyappan (2-17), in the ICC Asia Under-19 World Cup qualifier at the Selangor Turf Club in Kuala Lumpur.

Kuwait, who were the table-toppers, had won the toss and elected to bat first, but their batting cracked before UAE’s fine spin attack. The UAE now top the table with six points having won all three matches so far and are closely followed by Nepal with four points.

Chasing the small total, the UAE reached the target in just eight overs.

In-form opening batsman Syed Haider hit 27 runs before being run out while Vriitya Aravind remained unbeaten on 15.

The UAE had lost Lakra for three and Ansh Tandon for five before Aravind and Alishan Sharafu, unbeaten on six, took the team to the target.

Speaking to Gulf News from the Turf Club after the match, Lakra who also received the man of the match award, said: “It was an important victory today as Kuwait is one of the strongest teams in the tournament. It feels really good to have beaten the team which was topping the table and clinch the top slot now.”

THE UAE next meet Singapore, who are at the bottom of the table with no victories, and then face Oman, who have two points from their two matches, in the last match on April 18.

The team that tops the table qualifies for the Under-19 World Cup.

It was off-spinner Farazuddin who began destroying Kuwait by removing opener Meet Bhavsar, caught and bowled, for one.

Farazuddin also had Kuwait captain Abdul Sadiq caught behind for a duck and opener Gokul Kumar for 14.

Lakra bowled Noman Budroo for his first wicket with his slow left-arm spin and went on to bag four more wickets, while leg spinner Meiyappan had Govind Kumar and Hamza Qureshi’s wickets.

“The pitch was helping the spinners and I fully seized that opportunity and that helped me get five wickets. I was also helped by others spinners and that helped to create a nice bowling partnership. It is very good that our batsmen are also taking up the challenge and performing consistently,” added Lakra.

Brief scores

UAE bt Kuwait by 7 wkts. Kuwait 56 in 26 overs (Farazuddin 3 -12, Aryan Lakra 5 -22, Meiyappan 2-17). UAE 57 for 3 in 8 overs (Haider 27)