Azam, bowlers set up thumping win for UAE
United Arab Emirates 157 for 7 (Azam 70) beat Canada 85 (Gunasekera 33, Raza 3-11) by 72 runs
United Arab Emirates kept their unbeaten record on their tour to Canada intact, defeating the hosts by 72 runs in the first Twenty20 in Toronto.
Choosing to bat, UAE piled up 157 for 7, a total built around opener Mohammad Azam's 51-ball 70. Azam and Abdul Shakoor gave UAE a strong start, sharing a stand of 42. However, regular wickets in the latter half of the innings weakened UAE's chances of posting a bigger score. Swapnil Patil and Shaiman Anwar, who had been in good form coming into the match, fell for 11 and 13. UAE had another setback when Azam and Amjad Javed were out in consecutive deliveries to pacer Harvir Baidwan in the 17th over. Azam's 70 included nine fours and one six. Nasir Aziz and Ahmed Raza hit some quick runs towards the end to take the score past 150.
In reply, openers Rizwan Cheema and Ruvindu Gunasekera gave Canada a start of 34 in 6.3 overs but the innings simply wilted after Cheema fell for 20. Gunasekera tried to keep the innings together, but watched helplessly as Hiral Patel, Usman Limbada, Raza-ur-Rehman and debutant Damodar Daesrath went for single-figure scores. Gunasekera soon fell for 33 to make it 69 for 6 and Canada managed just 16 more before folding for 85. Shadeep Silva missed a hat-trick in the 16th over to end with 2 for 15. Left-arm spinner Ahmed Raza was the most successful bowler for UAE, finishing for 3 for 11 off 3.2 overs.