Huge win for UAE as Namibia collapse to 39
UAE 197 (Anwar 54, Shafiq 43, van der Westhuizen 3-31) beat Namibia 39 (Khurram 3-2, Silva 3-11, Raza 3-13) by 158 runs
The UAE spinners delivered an extraordinary thumping to Namibia in their penultimate ICC World Cricket League Championship match in Sharjah and kept their chances alive for the qualification for the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand. Namibia were bowled out for just 39 - a new record for the lowest total in the tournament - handing UAE a big boost to their net run-rate and with one more match remaining between the teams, UAE have a chance to overtake Netherlands in the table and rise to No. 2. Afghanistan, however, have two matches remaining and they are just a point behind UAE.
Namibia's rout was triggered by the Shadeep Silva, the left-arm spinner, who opened the bowling and picked up the wicket of opener Michau du Preez in his first over before adding another wicket in his second over. Namibia were left in misery at 20 for 4 by the time Silva struck for the third time, in the 11th over. The UAE captain, Khurram Khan, realising Namibia's problems against left-arm spin, introduced Ahmed Raza and himself soon after and the Namibia batting succumbed to the trio and were bowled out in 24.4 overs. Khurram, who cleaned up the tail, had figures of 4.4-2-2-3.
"We really wanted to win this match as it was so important for us as we try to qualify for the World Cup," Silva said. "Now [Sunday's] game against Namibia is just the same and we need to do well."
UAE, after being put into bat, were themselves in early trouble, losing their first three wickets with only 39 runs on the board, but Shaiman Anwar held one end and constructed useful partnerships to pull UAE out of trouble, but his dismissal just before UAE had reached the 100-mark put Namibia in control. A strong stand of 79 between Mohammad Shafiq and Rohan Mustafa lifted UAE out of the trouble and helped them towards 200, which in the end, turned out to be more than enough.
"It was a wonderful partnership (the sixth-wicket stand) and it set up the match for us," Khurram said. "I was thinking anything above 170 was going to be a good total and at one point it looked like it was going to be around 120, but they batted so well. In the end it was enough."