UAE v Netherlands, Intercontinental Cup, Sharjah, 2nd day April 4, 2008

Schiferli keeps game level

Cricinfo staff

UAE 289 (Saqib 58, Amjad Ali 55, Schiferli 5-48) lead Netherlands 287 by two runs

Amjad Ali pulls during his gritty half-century but UAE could only manage a lead of two © ICC

Edgar Schiferli claimed a career-best 5 for 48 on the second day in Sharjah but UAE dented Netherlands' hopes of qualifying for the Intercontinental Cup final by taking a narrow two-run lead.

To stay in the race for a spot in the final, Netherlands really needed to collect the maximum 20 points from this match, but after conceding a lead, only 14 points are now available. However, following the efforts of Schiferli victory is still within reach. The home side looked well placed for a handy advantage on 256 for 5 until Schiferli ran through the tail as the last five wickets fell for 33 runs.

UAE had been given a solid base as they replied to Netherlands' 287 with a opening stand of 69 between two Ali's - Amjad and Arshad - with Amjad reaching a hardworking 55 from 190 balls. The middle order scored more freely as captain Saqib Ali hit 58 off 73 balls while Khurram Khan and Rashid Khan produced useful innings.

Mohammad Kashif and Daan van Bunge claimed two important wickets apiece, but it was Schiferli who produced the most dramatic intervention towards the end of the day. He made short work of the last four wickets, which fell for eight runs, and when he bowled Fahad Alhashmi it completed his first five-wicket haul.

Netherlands, who currently lie fourth in the table, will now need to produce a solid batting effort to leave UAE a final-day target.