Prior and Solanki seal the clean sweep
England A 245 for 1 (Solanki 109, Prior 122*) beat United Arab Emirates 243 for 5 (Asghar Ali 72, Syed Maqsood 74) by 9 wickets, and won series 4-0
An opening stand of 227 between Matt Prior and Vikram Solanki hurried England A to victory over the United Arab Emirates in the fourth and final match of their brief stay in Sharjah. Solanki was out for 109 shortly before the end, but Prior was still there with 122 as England A completed a nine-wicket victory with 8.4 overs to spare.
A repeat of the third match, in which England A squeaked home by just one wicket, was never very likely once Prior, who smacked 13 fours and three sixes, and Solanki (seven fours, three sixes) got going. In the end it was a surprise when Solanki fell to Rizwan Latif, the UAE's stand-in captain in place of the impressive Khuram Khan. It was the third substantial contribution in a row from Prior, who hit 84 in the second match and 56 in the third one.
In contrast to England A's supercharged start, the UAE had earlier made a disastrous one, losing both openers for ducks - Mohammad Taskeen caught behind by his fellow wicketkeeper Prior off Sajid Mahmood, and Atif Ali run out by Paul Franks. A confident 72 from 89 balls by Asghar Ali, who hit seven fours and a six, steadied the ship, and UAE were lifted to a handy total by an unbeaten sixth-wicket stand of 104 between Syed Maqsood, who made an unbeaten 74, and Naeemuddin Aslam (34 not out).
Four bowlers took a wicket apiece, but the coach Rod Marsh won't have been amused by the 26 wides that the England A bowlers sent down. The main offenders were Alex Gidman (11) and Mahmood (nine, plus two no-balls). But overall Marsh will be satisfied with the 4-0 result, and an excellent workout before the sterner tests that lie ahead in Sri Lanka, where they will contest a three-way one-day tournament that also includes Pakistan A.