Uganda hold off spirited UAE
United Arab Emirates 361 (Naeemuddin 152, Nsubuga 3-76) and 282 for 9 declared (Arshad 130, Saqib 77, Nsubuga 3-100) drew with Uganda 373 (Sematimba 89, Amjad 4-48) and 79 for 6 (Ssemanda 22*, Qasim 3-16)
Uganda held off a spirited bowling display from United Arab Emirates to ensure their match ended in a draw on the fourth day at Abu Dhabi. Arshad Ali's hundred, with able support from Saqib Ali's fluent 77, had allowed UAE to declare at 282 for 9 to set Uganda an unlikely target of 271 to chase in their second innings. Amjad Javed, Qasim Zubair and Shoaib Sarwar then combined to reduce Uganda to 36 for 5 less than 20 overs into the innings, but Ronald Ssemanda and Frank Nsubuga's impregnable defences salvaged a draw.
Earlier, Arshad and Saqib extended their partnership, which had reached 77 runs by stumps yesterday, to a massive 183 before Davis Arinaitwe and wicketkeeper Lawrence Sematimba combined to effect Saqib's run-out. Naeemuddin Aslam, the first innings centurion, was then trapped lbw for single figures by Arinaitwe before Arshad was run out by the young offspinner two balls later to reduce UAE to 228 for 5 in an eventful over. Arinaitwe then removed Abdul Rehman to cap a productive day in the field, and Nsubuga's tidy offspin brought three more wickets before the declaration came.
Uganda's openers played out the first 10 overs of their second innings without alarm before Amjad sparked a dramatic collapse. Three wickets fell with no addition to the score to leave Uganda floundering at 24 for 3. Captain Akbar Baig and Benjamin Musoke provided a brief spell of stability before both were trapped lbw by Shoaib Sarwar to leave the innings in tatters.
With UAE's bowlers running rampant, Arthur Ziraba and Ssemanda opted for watchful defence but their promising partnership was nipped in the bud when Qasim returned to rattle Ziraba's timber. With survival at a premium, Ssemanda and Nsubuga gave up any pretence of run-scoring, adding 15 runs in 15 tense overs before the match was called off.
The final result means that Uganda retain their position at the top of the points table. The two teams will now play each other in three one-day games before UAE head to the World Twenty20 Qualifiers and Uganda travel to Kenya for a Twenty20 tri-series with Scotland the third participant. UAE have a break of almost five months before their next Intercontinental Shield match against Bermuda, while Uganda's next engagement in the competition comes against Namibia in September.