Abu Dhabi: Mohammad Usman hit a brilliant 89 runs off 63 balls with six boundaries and two sixes to steer UAE into the play-off of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Qualifier at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.
His knock helped UAE post an impressive 154 for 5 and restrict Canada to 140 for 5 and win by 14 runs. Ireland finished on top of Group B and got a direct qualification into the World T20 in Australia. UAE finished third in the points table.
Canada won the toss and elected to bowl. UAE lost their opener Rohan Mustafa to the third ball of the first over from Romesh Eranga for a duck. In the second over, opener Chirag Suri too followed caught by Saad Bin Zafar at midwicket off Junaid Siddiqui for 1.
Rameez Shahzad and Mohammad Usman began to stroke well. In the eighth over, at the score on 48, Shahzad got trapped leg before by left-arm spinner Zafar for 27. Darius D’ Silva joined Usman and kept the scoreboard moving. In the 13th over, Usman on 40 escaped being caught at deep square off Dilon Heyliger. By the 15th over UAE were 95 for 3. Usman pulled Heyliger to reach his half century. D’ Silva fell in the 18th over, stumped by wicketkeeper Hamza Tariq for 20 off Zafar after putting on 73 runs off 9.4 overs. With the next ball Zafar removed next man Sultan Ahmad caught at long off. Waheed Ahmed hit a boundary and six off successive balls off Eranga. In the last over, from Heyliger, Usman hit 13 runs to give UAE a challenging total.
Canada opener put 29 runs in 3.4 overs when UAE’s pacer Junaid Siddiqui had Srimantha Wijeyeratne caught behind for 21. Waheed Ahmad trapped Nitish Kumar leg before for 11. In the first ten overs, they posted 68 runs needing another 87 runs. In the 12th over Waheed struck again to have captain Navneet Dhaliwal caught at deep midwicket for 41. He also had Tariq caught and bowled for 2. In the last five over Canada needed 58 runs. Nicholas Kirton and Ravindrapal Singh put on 42 runs but Mustafa broke the partnership. Canada needed 20 runs in the last over but Zahoor Khan bowled a tight over to ensure the win.