Bowlers, Zawar Farid lead UAE to easy win over Nigeria
UAE go level on points with Canada and Oman at the top, while Nigeria slide to their fourth loss in a row
UAE 112 for 5 (Farid 55, Okpe 2-22) beat Nigeria 111 for 3 (Adedeji 51*, Onwuzulike 46*) by five wickets
After losing their previous game against Jersey, UAE returned to the winning ways when they rode on an excellent bowling performance and opener Zawar Farid's quick half-century to put it past Nigeria at Abu Dhabi's Tolerance Oval in a Group B match of the men's T20 World Cup qualifiers.
The win, UAE's third in five games, put them level on points at the top of the table with Canada and Oman, but both of them have played fewer games than the home side and have a better net run rate. For Nigeria, meanwhile, it was a fourth loss in as many matches.
The day started with Ahmed Raza winning the toss and asking Nigeria to bat, and it was slow going for the batting side for the most part. Openers Sulaimon Runsewe and Daniel Ajekun found it tough to score early on, and were both dismissed by the end of the third over with just two runs on the board. Leke Oyede, the No. 3, didn't have it any easier as he managed only four runs off 18 deliveries when Raza accounted for him.
At that stage, Nigeria were 22 for 3 after 7.2 overs, but it did get better for them with Chimezie Onwuzulike and Sesan Adedeji, who batted through the rest of the overs while adding 89 runs together. Onwuzulike ended with an unbeaten 46 in 42 balls and Adedeji 51 not out in 48 balls. For UAE, left-arm spinner Sultan Ahmed ended with remarkable numbers - 4-2-6-0 - while Junaid Siddique and Raza returned identical figures of 1 for 15 from their four overs.
Rohan Mustafa and Farid gave UAE a good start in response, the two adding 35 runs before Mustafa was dismissed by Chima Akachukwu for an eight-ball 14 in the fifth over. Farid, the dominant partner in that stand, continued in the same vein with Chirag Suri as his partner, the two adding 43 runs for the second wicket in which Suri's contribution was just eight runs. Farid fell to the medium pace of Daniel Gim for a 35-ball 55, and Suri fell soon after to offspinner Sylvester Okpe. Neither Waheed Ahmed nor Mohammad Boota lasted for long, but the target was meagre enough for UAE to canter past it in 12.3 overs, helping their net run rate significantly.
UAE next play Canada on Sunday, while Nigeria take on Ireland a day before.