Pakistan overcome hiccups for seven-wicket win
Pakistan tried to sink their teeth into the target and suddenly found it was more than they could chew. The top three fell early, but Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal buckled down and took Pakistan to a seven-wicket victory against UAE in Mirpur
10.45 pm So Pakistan earn their first points in the Asia Cup with a seven-wicket victory against UAE. They have so much scope for improvement, though. Their bowlers were flat - even Amir who bowled a spell of 4-1-6-2 did not have anywhere near the intensity he bowled with against India. UAE recovered from 3 for 12 to make 129. And then Pakistan's top three failed and from 17 for 3 they were rescued by Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal who put on 114 runs - a new record for fourth-wicket partnerships in T20Is.
Malik: "In the coming matches if Pakistan plays with Khurram Manzoor then Pakistan teams is playing with 10 players. I propose Afridi should open to test himself and bring in Anwar Ali. At least Anwar can bat better than Khurram and will support the bowling as well.
Nauman: "Anwar Ali should be groomed to play at #3 in T20Is (and ODIs). He is not worth a spot as a bowler. Should try to score some runs at top and share 5th bowler spot with Malik. And YES, Khurram needs to make way."
Salman: "Pakistan is appearing three times in the top 10 fourth wicket partnerships in T20Is and Shoaib Malik has been part of all three!"
I'll have the presentation for you shortly.
UAE captain, Amjad Javed: We wanted about 120 but we got 10 runs extra, we knew it would be difficult to chase, we got some early wickets but we could not capitalise on that. We are still learning, Malik and Akmal took the game away from us. The team is really doing well, I did my best to contribute and try and bring the game back, and make Pakistan work hard. Our coach Aaqib Javed was sure we could give them a fight if we scored 100.
Shoaib Malik, the Man of the Match: Tough conditions, we all know the first six overs has been crucial, if you survive then you can play shots and that is what we did. We lost early wickets but then we decided to forget about the run rate and focus on playing out the first six overs. We bowled well in the first six overs but then we were a bit all over the place, hopefully we will talk about it.
Shahid Afridi: In this format you can't relax (he says with a huge smile). We are making some mistakes and we can't afford that against the big teams. I told my batsmen just play normal cricket, don't go for big runs. We thought after we took three wickets we thought we would get them out for 90-100 but they played well and some shots went off for them ..(off the edges)."
Right, so that game turned out to be more entertaining than I thought it would be. Who knows what tomorrow will bring, when India play Sri Lanka. Thank you for your emails today, and thank you for reading. Cheers.
Sarvesh: "Not to take anything away from Akmal and Malik, but Amir's four overs made a huge difference here.. He should be the Man of the Match!"
Faras: "I think Umar Akmal has shown enough brains to get few more innings at number 3 or 4. I think Khurram Manzoor is done for Asia Cup, bring in Imad Wasim or Anwer Ali or Wahab Riaz depending on pitch condition."
Hamza: "Can the coach still not see how well suited Umar Akmal is for No.3? I mean how hard is it its been over 4 years and they still cant see it."
Pakistan need 27 off 18 balls.