UAE v Namibia, Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah, 3rd day January 25, 2008

UAE left hoping for a captain's innings

Cricinfo staff

UAE 224 and 44 for 2 need another 293 runs to beat Namibia 164 and 396 (Botha 104, K Burger 76, Kotze 66, Khan 6-98)

Namibia ended the third day of their Intercontinental Cup tie against UAE in Sharjah in a commanding position after reducing the home side to 44 for 2 after setting them a target of 337.

Namibia, who fought back well yesterday after conceding a first-innings lead of 60, started on 164 for 3 and soon lost Dawid Botha, their Under-19 captain, shortly after he had completed his hundred. When Louis Botha followed with the score on 207, Namibia were five down and only 147 ahead.

But the lower middle-order and tail more than doubled the lead. Bjorn Kotze played the anchor innings with a dogged 66 and he received excellent support from Tobias Verwey and Kola Burger. It was Burger who really floored UAE as he smashed 76 including ten fours and two sixes in an eighth-wicket stand of 107 with Kotze.

UAE relied heavily on spin with the 36-year-old Khurram Khan finishing with 6 for 98 off 42 overs; his partner Ahmed Raza, some 17 years his junior, was unlucky to only take the one wicket in a marathon spell.

UAE's openers fell early for the second time in the match, both to Louis Klazinga, and their first-innings century-maker and captain, Saqib Ali, opted to send in the nightwatchman and save himself for the fourth-day fight. He received little support first time round and will need to find someone to stay with him if UAE are to win. The incentive is that if they do so, they will go top of the table ahead of the Kenya's visit later this month.