UAE push ahead on dramatic opening day
UAE 161 for 5 (Anwar 81, Khurram 49, Smit 3-13) lead Namibia 90 (Raza 7-37) by 71 runs
Namibia, who chose to bat at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium, were in trouble early on as debutant pacer Kamran Shazad struck in successive overs to dismiss opener Xander Pitchers and Stephan Baard. But from that point onwards, the innings belonged to Raza, whose dominance of the Namibia batting was reflected in his figures of 7 for 37 off 20.4 overs.
Raza, introduced into the attack in the ninth over, bowled three maidens first-up and had debutant Michau de Preez caught behind for his first wicket. Bowling unchanged from one end for the rest of the Namibia innings, Raza induced a batting collapse that saw the visitors fold for 90.
UAE were shaky at the start, too, as Namibia's left-arm pacer JJ Smit struck off successive balls in the fifth over to dismiss Saqib Shah and Saqib Ali. UAE's recovery was led by the in-form Shaiman Anwar who shared a 123-run third-wicket stand with Khurram Khan. Anwar scored a 90-ball 81, which included 10 fours and three sixes while Khurram played a more sedate 49 off 111 balls.
Namibia tried out nine bowlers, including captain Raymond van Schoor, who temporarily gave up his wicketkeeping gloves to pitch in with three overs. The breakthrough, however, came from part-time offspinner Pitchers, who dismissed Anwar. Du Preez took the wicket of Khurram Khan with his legspin, while Smit got his third leg-before victim in Rohan Mustafa.