Nabi rearguard earns Afghanistan draw
UAE 462 (Palekar 76, Javed 76) and 228 (Patil 79) drew with Afghanistan 328 (Nabi 117, Arshad Ali 6-45) and 131 (Ahmadi 49, Nabi 35)
UAE were on course for their second win in the Intercontinental Cup when they had Afghanistan six down with more than 40 overs to get the remaining wickets at the Sharjah Cricket Association Stadium. But Mohammad Nabi played out 153 balls, and along with Asghar Stanikzai and Samiullah Shenwari took Afghanistan to a draw.
It was always going to be a matter of survival for Afghanistan, as they were left chasing 363 in a little less than a day. Given the way Afghanistan's lower order had collapsed earlier in the game, all odds were on a UAE win when they had the visitors 82 for 6 in 36.1 overs. Nabi had scored a century batting up the order in the first innings, but only came in at No. 7 in the second by which time Afghanistan were 71 for 5. He only got 35 runs but it was the time he spent at the wicket which mattered.
For company, Nabi had first Stanikzai who used up 53 balls for his 10, and Shenwari who played a remarkably patient innings of 6 off 78. They ended up reaching 131 for 7 by the end of the day leaving them just behind UAE in the Intercontinental Cup table.
UAE had started the day on 213 for 5 with their main dilemma being when to declare. Afghanistan, though, took the option away from them, running through the tail and bowling the hosts out for 228. They could not carry any momentum from that late fightback into their innings, and were reduced to 30 for 3. Javed Ahmadi followed up his 80 in the first innings with 49 in the second but he was only one of the top six to make a contribution. Afghanistan shuffled their batting order, with Mirwais Ashraf and Hamza Kotak moving up the order. Ashraf negotiated 70 balls for his 10, but Afghanistan still needed a rearguard from the lower order.