Dubai: UAE got off to a wining start in the first match of the tour to Netherlands with a 13-run win in the first T20 match played at the VRA Cricket Ground in Amstelveen on Saturday. Put into bat by Netherlands, UAE opener Ashfaq Ahmad and Mohammad Usman cracked half centuries to post a respectable total of 181 for five in 20 overs.

Ashfaq topscored with 54 runs off 35 balls with eleven boundaries while Usman hit 52 off 34 balls with four boundaries and three sixes.

Twenty-one-year-old Darius Del Piero D’Silva, who made his debut, chipped in with an unbeaten 24. Opening the UAE innings, Ashfaq and Mustafa had put on 41 runs in the first four overs before Mustafa got caught behind for eight. Ashfaq then added another 41 runs for the second wicket with wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber (19). Rameez Shehzad hit 11 runs off 12 balls and helped UAE post a decent total.

Chasing the score, Netherlands openers Stephan Myburg and Max O’Dowd put on 54 runs before pacer Zahoor Khan had Myburg caught behind for 18. Mustafa then struck twice to Ben Cooper and Scott Edwards while Sultan Ahmad clean bowled O’Dowd who top scored with 51 runs. Mustafa took two wickets for 26 runs in his four overs.

The second T20 match of the series will be played on August 8 at the same venue.

Meanwhile, Emirates Cricket Board announced that Monty Desai has been appointed as batting coach for the UAE team. This is to bolster UAE’s batting by supporting Head Coach, Dougie Brown.

Desai has worked with teams like Nepal, Canada and Afghanistan. He was Afghanistan’s batting coach in their bid to secure ICC Cricket World Cup qualification in Zimbabwe (2018). He has been an integral member of the coaching team for T20 IPL franchises Rajasthan Royals and Gujarat and was Head Coach of Andhra State Team during the 2018-2019 Indian Domestic Season.

Zayed Abbas, Emirates Cricket Board Member and spokesperson said: “UAE Cricket is embarking on an exceptionally busy playing schedule where we have three exceptionally important tournaments for two of our representative sides; the ICC U19’s Cricket World Cup campaign (2020), our Senior Men’s ICC World T20 qualifiers (2019) as well as the Senior Men’s ICC World Cricket League Division 2 matches.The importance of securing success in all three campaigns is of the highest priority and it is imperative we provide quality resources to reach our goal. We welcome Monty to this role and look forward to seeing positive results from his influence and expertise.”.