UAE in control after strong fightback
UAE 213 and 155 for 3 (Saqib Ali 70*, Amjad Javed 66*) lead Kenya 219 (Bhudia 44, Amjad Javed 3-43) by 149 runs with seven wickets remaining
UAE roared back into their Intercontinental Cup match against Kenya, ending the second day 149 ahead with seven wickets remaining.
The first day belonged to the Kenyan bowlers but UAE proved the adage that a total can never be judged until both sides have batted as they ended up restricting Kenya to just a six run lead on first innings.
Things started badly for the home side as Tammy Mishra fell early for 1. Dominic Wesonga, the not out overnight batsman, followed soon after without adding to his 34 and by the time Ramesh Mepani was lbw to Amjad Javed for 8, Kenya were floundering at 106 for 6, still 107 runs behind.
That the home side even ended up with a slender first-innings lead from there was a surprise but Samarth Patel and Hiren Varaiya combined for the first of two recovery partnerships. The pair added 46 in 17 overs to arrest the decline. Patel made a careful 30 from 81 balls before falling to Arshad Ali. Wicketkeeper Mansukh Jesani fell after a scrapping for 31 balls but that brought an unlikely batting hero, No. 10 Rajesh Bhudia to the fore.
Shunning caution he swiped five boundaries and a six and ran hard to make 44 from 41 balls, completely dominating a 50-run stand with Varaiya. Eventually Bhudia was out to Ahmed Raza who removed next man in Lucas Oluoch for a golden duck.
With the momentum firmly with the home side UAE were reduced to 31 for 3. Oluoch striking with the second ball of the innings to send Arshad Ali on his way and Wesonga, five overs later, removing the other opener Abdul Rehman. Oluoch collected his second wicket when Amjad Ali was trapped in front for 16 but that proved to be the last success of the day for Kenya.
Saqib Ali bedded down in a partnership with the more attacking Amjad Javed and the pair carried the visitors into the ascendancy. Saqib struck eight fours and a six to end the day unbeaten on 70 while Amjad raced along at nearly a run a ball, reaching 66 from 76 balls by stumps. The pair added 124 and have given their team a great chance of setting a challenging target.