Dubai: UAE skipper Aryan Lakra produced his second six-wicket spell to wreck Qatar and ensure his team a place in the final of the Asian Cricket Council Under-19 Western Region tournament at the Dubai International Stadium on Wednesday. They will take on Kuwait in the final.
Electing to field first after winning the toss, the UAE bowled out Qatar for a paltry 48 runs in 26.1 overs. Lakra was well supported by Karthik Palaniapan Meiyappan and Mohammad Tahir with two wickets each. UAE won by 10 wickets with opener Allshan Sharafu scoring an unbeaten 32 and his partner Syed Haider scoring an unbeaten 16 as they guided UAE to the target in 3.5 overs.
Lakra, who had produced a spell of six for 16 against Bahrain, bettered his figures by taking six wickets for nine runs from his 7.1 overs with his left-arm spin. In the ICC Asia Under-19 World Cup qualifier in Kuala Lumpur too, he had produced a five-wicket spell against Kuwait on April 15 and emerged as the highest wicket taker of the tournament with 13 wickets from five matches.
Speaking to Gulf News after guiding the UAE into final, Lakra, a Grade 12 student of Winchester School, said: “We are delighted with the string of victories, which began from Kuala Lumpur. Karthik and me have emerged a fine bowling combination from the ICC tournament itself. I am happy that everyone in the team is playing with responsibility.”
Asked about the secret behind his deadly spells, Lakra said: “I feel it is the result of the hard work that I have put in and it is all the more pleasing as it is leading to victories.”
The winner of this tournament will qualify for the Asia Cup Under-19 tournament, to be held in Sri Lanka. This will be the second major tournament that UAE will qualify after having made the cut for the Under-19 World Cup, to be held in South Africa next year.