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Raza stands tall among bowlers in ICC Intercontinental Cup

Mufti’s century and tight bowling sink Namibia at home

Image Credit: Courtesy: UAE team
Ahmad Raza celebrates after guiding UAE to victory against Namibia after an invaluable 30-run stand with Saqlain Haider.
Gulf News

Dubai: UAE’s left-arm spinner Ahmad Raza became the leading wicket-taker in International Cricket Council (ICC) Intercontinental Cup tournament following his six-wicket spell that ensured the UAE a 34-run victory over Namibia at Wanderers Ground in Windhoek, Namibia.

Raza overtook George Dockrell of Ireland with 22 wickets from five matches. He now has 27 wickets from five matches.

Speaking to Gulf News from Namibia, Raza said: “It’s a great honour to clinch the top slot among wicket takers in an ICC tournament and I feel proud in contributing to team’s success.”

This is Raza’s fourth five-wicket haul in first class cricket and third in this edition of the Intercontinental Cup.

UAE batsman Adnan Mufti too played a vital role in UAE beating Namibia. He cracked 110 runs in the first innings to help UAE post 269 runs in 85.3 overs. Rameez Shahzad too chipped in with 40 runs.

UAE then went on to restrict Namibia in the first innings to 212 runs in 67.5 overs. Raza returned with figures of 6 for 61 backed by Mohammad Naveed (2/47) and Imran Haider (2/60).

UAE were restricted to 157 runs in the second innings. Chirag Suri, the young Indian Premier League player, hit 41 to give a good start to the innings. Wicketkeeper Saqlain Haider and Mustafa had chipped in with 29 runs each.

Chasing a target of 215 to win, Namibia were bowled out for 180 in 66.2 overs.

UAE skipper Rohan Mustafa led the bowling attack with three wickets for 38, well-supported by Raza and Haider with two wickets each. Raza returned with match figures of 8 for 106 runs.

Commenting on the victory, Mustafa said: “It is indeed splendid to beat Namibia on their home ground. Our bowlers did a great job restricting them to a low score, especially on a nice batting wicket. All credit to Mufti for his century and Raza for his excellent bowling feat.”

Talking about his eight wicket match haul, Raza said: “I knew if I can bowl a good line and length, I will get wickets. I always enjoy bowling long spells and I think these eight wickets are the reward for my disciplined bowling maintaining the right length.”

Brief scores: UAE first innings 269 all out in 85.3 overs (Rohan Mustafa 36, Rameez Shehzad 40, Adnan Mufti 110, Imran Haider 20n.o, Jonathan Smit 4 for 37)

Naimbia first innings 212 in 67.5 overs (MG Erasmus 78n.o, Ahmad Raza 6 for 61, Mohammad Naveed 2 for 47, Imran Haider 2 for 60).

UAE second innings 157 in 48.5 overs (Rohan Mustafa 29, Chirag Suri 41, Saqlain Haider 29).

Namibia second innings: 180 in 66.2 overs (CG Williams 48, Rohan Mustafa 3 for 38, Ahmad Raza 2 for 45, Imran Haider 2 for 49)