Dubai: Through a superb half-century from opener Chirag Suri and a deadly spell from left-arm spinner Sultan Ahmad, the UAE emerged as the champions of the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) Western Region tournament defeating Kuwait by 102 runs in the final at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Oman.
Suri extended his tremendous form in this tournament to top score with 60 runs off 41 balls with eight boundaries backed by a whirlwind unbeaten 45 runs off 15 balls with six sixes from Waheed Ahmad, helped UAE post 199-5 in 20 overs. Kuwait were restricted to 97-7 in 20 overs through Ahmad’s deadly spell of four wickets for just nine runs from his four overs.
The UAE had dominated this tournament from the start, scoring impressive victories in all the matches. Suri, who hit his third half-century in this tournament had scores of 15 not out against Iran, 51 against Kuwait, 75 against Saudi Arabia and 38 in the low-scoring match against Qatar. He opened with Rohan Mustafa (28) and put on 72 runs in 7.3 overs to give the UAE a good start. Basil Hameed fell after scoring 12 runs from 13 balls. Mohammad Usam (28) and Suri took the score to 133 in 15.2 overs. Suri’s innings ended at the score on 143 but Waheed Ahmad swelled the total through his unbeaten 45 studded with only six sixers and no boundaries.
Chasing the score, Kuwait opener Usman Gani fell to UAE pacer Junaid Siddique for a duck. Ahmad picked his first wicket with his left-arm spin by removing other opener Ravija Sandaruwan for 12. Bilal Tahir, who hit 22 off 20 balls, was stopped by captain Ahmad Raza, who also dismissed Aphsal Ashraf for 4. The rest of the Kuwait batsmen fell to the guile of Ahmad.