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The pain of missing the semi-finals of the ACC Trophy Elite for the first time has been compounded for United Arab Emirates following their 34-run loss in the fifth-sixth place play-off against Oman in Kuwait on Thursday.
Sent in by Oman, the Emiratis put in a spirited batting display, hitting 265 runs in 48.3 overs, thanks chiefly due to captain Khurram Khan's 90 from 71 balls, including 11 fours and two sixes. Khan combined with another veteran, Arshad Ali, (35) in a run-a-ball third-wicket partnership of 98, after UAE were 21 for 2. Further contributions from Saqib Ali (32), Fayyaz Ahmed (21 off 19 balls) and a late flurry from Shoaib Sarwar (30 from 16 including three sixes) lifted UAE to a useful total. Slow left-arm bowler, Tariq Hussain was Oman's main wicket-taker, returning 3 for 50.
Omani openers, Hemin Desai and Deep Trivedi, possibly mindful of the threat of a reduction in overs, gave their team a positive start. Although both openers were dismissed, Oman were 52 after just 6.5 overs. Man-of-the-match, Vaibhav Wategaonkar (65 not out in 76 balls) combined with Adnan Ilyas (49) and Sultan Ahmed (19 not out) to continue the attack to reach 193 for 3 when rain intervened. With a resumption not being impossible, Oman won the match by 34 runs thanks to Duckworth/Lewis calculations.
The tournament concludes today with the final between Afghanistan and Nepal, as well as the third place play-off between Hong Kong and Malaysia.
Social media manager Nitin spent his formative years perfecting the art of landing the googly, before blossoming into a book-cricket specialist. More excellence followed in the underarm version of the game before, like the majority of India's misguided youth, he started taking studies seriously. After four forgettable years of electrical engineering, followed by a rigorous MBA and 16 months in the strategy consulting industry, he began to ponder life's more profound issues. Such as the angle made by Brian Lara's bat with the horizontal at the peak of his back-lift. A move to ESPNcricinfo followed and Nitin is now a prolific nurdler in office cricket, with a questionable technique against the short ball.