Dubai: It was a case of so close yet so far again for the UAE after they crumbled against Scotland in the third play-off of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup qualifier at the Dubai International Stadium. The host team, who were reeling under the off-field stress of losing their top players to ICC’s Anti-Corruption Unit’s investigation, lost by 90 runs as Scotland booked their place in the ICC T20 World Cup in Australia.
Scotland, electing to bat after winning the toss, posted 198-6 and bowled UAE out for 108 in 18.3 overs.
Scotland innings began with opener Kyle Coetzer going for his shots and, in the second over, hit Junaid Siddique for two boundaries. In the third over, George Munsey too opened out and hit Sultan Ahmad for two sixes and a boundary. By the seventh over, the pair put on their 50-run partnership. Coetzer used the reverse sweep to get a boundary off UAE captain Ahmad Raza while Munsey hit Waheed Ahmad for two sixes, one to deep midwicket and another over deep square leg, to accelerate the run flow. By the end of the 10th over Scotland openers had put on 81 runs.
Munsey reached his half-century in 33 balls. UAE got their breakthrough in the 12th over when Coetzer lofted Siddique to Mohammad Usman at long off for 34 runs. Next man Michael Leask hit the first ball he faced for a six off Siddique over deep midwicket. Scotland reached the 100-run mark in 12.4 overs through Munsey’s fifth six over. Munsey fell in the 14th over to Raza for 65 when Rameez Shahzad pulled of a brilliant acrobatic catch at long-off, leaping and stretching his hand. Next batsman Richie Berrington began by hitting Raza for a six over long-off. He also hit Waheed for two sixes in the 16th over, one over deep midwicket and another a powerful hit over the bowlers head.
Zahoor Khan got Leask out for 12 by having him caught by Waheed at deep midwicket. Berrington hit two successive boundaries off Zahoor Khan and fell in the 18th over to Mustafa for 48. With the last ball of that over Mustafa got the wicket of Tom Stole for 6. Callum MacLeod hit 25 runs off 11 balls to take Scotland to two runs short of the 200-run mark.
Chasing the score, UAE lost their opener Chirag Suri, caught behind off Matthew Cross for 4 to the third ball of the first over. In the third over, the other opener Mustafa too departed, caught behind off Josh Davey for 4.
Shahzad upper cut Davey for a six over point. UAE reached the 50-run mark in 8.1 overs through Shahzad’s second six off Mark Watt but he fell to the next ball hitting straight to Munsey at deep cover for 34.
Defeat stared as UAE could post only 66 for 3 by the end of the 10th over and needed another 133 runs from the remaining 10 overs. To make matters worse, in the 12th over, Waheed Ahmed became a Berrington victim for 6. The 13th over virtually ended UAE’s challenge with Watt making Mohammad Usman hit to Leask at long-off for 20 and clean bowling Sultan Ahmed for a duck. Mohammad Boota (2), Siddique (3) and Raza (3) quickly followed leaving Darius D’Silva unbeaten on 19.