Dubai: The UAE Under-19 team posted an emphatic six-wicket win over Zimbabwe in their second warm-up match for the International Cricket Council (ICC) Under-19 World Cup at 7he Sevens Ground.
Left-arm spinner Justin James and off spinner Moaaz Qazi — with three wickets each — backed by medium pacer Pankaj Prakash who took two wickets to dismiss Zimbabwe for a paltry 100 runs in 39.1 overs. UAE raced to the target in 29.5 overs with Shorye Chopra once again topscoring with 37 runs and opener Chirag Suri hitting 22 runs.
It was a creditable victory for the UAE given that Zimbabwe is a Test-playing nation. Zimbabwe had also beaten Australia in the first warm-up match.
Speaking to Gulf News, Gopal Jasapara, the manager of the UAE team, said: “It was a good allround show from our team. We have come back strongly after losing the first warm-up match to Pakistan. Our opening bowlers Omer Mohammad and Prakash bowled brilliantly at the start and our spinners James and Qazi bowled well to complete the job. This victory will help the boys believe in themselves especially after having beaten a Test playing nation. It’s a morale-boosting win before the World Cup.”
UAE won the toss but opted to field. Prakash struck the first blow by having opener Tarisai Musakanda caught behind for 3 while Mohammad trapped the other opener Joylord Gumbie leg before for 1. Pankaj also had the next batsman, Tinashe Kamunhukawe, caught by Chopra for 6. Three down for 19 runs, Zimbabwe’s Charles Kunje hit 36 runs to take the score to 41 but James then picked three quick wickets and was well backed up by Qazi.
Chasing the total, the UAE openers Suri and Shivank Vijayakumar put on 30 runs in 7.3 overs before Vijayakumar fell for 7 runs. Chopra, who joined Suri, put on 62 runs for the second wicket to put the UAE within range of the target. Chopra’s 37 off 53 balls contained two sixes and two boundaries. the UAE won with 121 balls to spare.
Brief scores: UAE beat Zimbabwe by six wickets. Zimbabwe 100 in 39.1 overs (Charles Kunje 36, Pankaj Prakash 2 for 20, Justin James 3 for 19, Moaaz Qazi 3 for 13) UAE 101 for 4 in 29.5 overs (Chirag Suri 22, Shorye Chopra 37).