Arun Harinath ton takes Surrey to victory
Surrey 217 for 3 (Harinath 102*, Ramprakash 83 ret hurt) beat UAE 213 (Saqib Ali 61, Abdul Rehman 51, Dernbach 3-42) by seven wickets
Mark Ramprakash appears to have taken a shine to the pitch at the Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi, so much so that he has yet to create an average for himself. Ramprakash took his personal run tally at the stadium to 314 in three innings on Wednesday evening during Surrey's routine win over the shell-shocked amateur players of the UAE national side, who were saved further punishment when Ramprakash retired hurt with a stiff calf.
By then, Surrey were well on the way toward victory at 151 for one after another Ramprakash virtuoso display of 83 from 70 balls, 52 of which came in boundaries. Those runs went in the scorebook alongside his 127 not out against the UAE here this time last year and the unbeaten 104 when he faced the Emerging Cape Cobras on Monday night.
Yet for once, Ramprakash was out-scored, and memorably so as left-handed Surrey academy product Arun Harinath posted a run-a-ball hundred in only his second innings on tour. The sixth four of Harinath's stay took him to his century and the team to victory with 5.4 overs and seven wickets in hand.
Earlier in the evening the hosts, who are coached by former Sussex and Derbyshire all-rounder Colin Wells, made a dismal start to the game. Batting first under the lights having won the toss, they were 14 for 2 inside four overs. In Jade Dernbach's second over opener Amjad Ali lost his off stump then Arshad Ali played late to go leg-before to the same bowler.
Stuart Meaker made it 40 for 3 by having Indika Sampath caught at the wicket, but to their credit UAE put up a spirited rally with a fourth-wicket stand of 81 between stylish top-scorer Saqib Ali and rather more dogged Abdul Rehman.
Saqib, a warehouseman for a medical supply firm, stroked eight fours in his 78-ball stay for 61 and it needed a stunning catch in one-glove by Ireland keeper Gary Wilson, diving wide to his right, to send the right-hander packing.
Shadeep Silva and Fayyaz Ahmed kept the board just about ticking, each with run-a-ball scores of 28, but nothing they did seemed to enliven Rehman's scoring rate as he finally closed in on a 78-ball 50 in the final over of UAE's innings.
Mark Pennell is the managing director of freelance reporting and public relations agency Kent & Sussex Sport