UAE v England A, 3rd match, Sharjah March 2, 2005

England A make it three out of three in tight finish

Cricinfo staff

England A 189 for 9 (Prior 56, Khuram Khan 4-27) beat United Arab Emirates 188 (Khuram Khan 70) by 1 wicket

England A completed their third win in a row against the United Arab Emirates in a thrilling manner at Sharjah, reaching their target of 189 with just one wicket to spare.

Sussex's wicketkeeper-batsman, Matt Prior, was England's hero for the second match running, top-scoring with 56 as a follow-up to his 84 on Sunday, but it was a fighting performance from the No. 10, Sajid Mahmood, that sealed the win in a frenetic finale. He clubbed 11 not out from 14 balls to win with five balls to spare.

The UAE were 2-0 down after consecutive English victories over the weekend, and after winning the toss, they were indebted once again to their captain and leading allrounder, Khuram Khan, who top-scored with 70, to take his tally for the series to an impressive 152 runs from three innings.

England made two early breakthroughs through David Harrison and Mahmood, and UAE lost wickets steadily thereafter, with Naeemuddin Aslam's 29 being the second-highest score of the innings. Three run-outs in quick succession prevented them from posting a 200-plus total.

England's run-chase began comfortably enough, as the two leading batsmen of the series, Prior and Vikram Solanki added 71 for the first wicket. But they lost their way somewhat as Rizwan Latif and Khuram entered the attack, slumping to 109 for 4.

Owais Shah held the middle order together with 42, but a tight finish was on the cards as England lost three wickets for two runs late in the proceedings. Mahmood, however, sealed the match as the No. 11 Jon Lewis looked on from the non-striker's end.