Dubai [UAE], August 20 (ANI): Skipper Muhammad Waseem led from the front with an explosive half-century as UAE scripted a stunning seven-wicket win over favourites New Zealand in the second T20I in Dubai on Saturday to level the three-match series.
After losing Aryansh Sharma for a duck in the first over, Waseem started off on a cautious note, getting to 16 off 13 balls before going berserk. The opener slammed four fours and three sixes and raced to his fifty off just 27 balls as UAE made a strong start in pursuit of 143.
UAE were 44/2 at the end of the powerplay thanks to Vriitya Aravind’s 21-ball 25, but Waseem was yet to take charge at that point in time.
In the first over after Powerplay, Waseem started to show more intent, smashing Mitchell Santner down the ground for a four and then hammering a six off Kyle Jamieson in the next over. He hit a four and a six off Cole McConchie before hoisting Santner for a six to get to his fifty off a mere 27 balls.
Waseem fell soon after his fifty, but not before lending the much-needed impetus into the UAE innings. The fall of Waseem’s wicket reduced the hosts to 96/3 in 11 overs.
Asif Khan (48* in 29 balls with five fours and a six) played a mature hand in the company of Basil Hameed (12* in 12 balls) as the duo put on a stand that further frustrated the Kiwis. While UAE was not still marching to a win, that changed in the 15th over when Asif Khan hit James Neesham for two fours.
He followed it up with a six off Tim Southee in the first ball next over to put UAE on the brink of a memorable win. Two more fours followed as UAE celebrated a remarkable win, their first T20I win over a Test-playing nation other than Ireland and Afghanistan.
Santner, Jamieson and Southee got a wicket each for Kiwis.
Earlier, New Zealand once again lost early wickets as Tim Seifert (7) fell in the third over and Aayan Khan picked up the wickets of Mitchell Santner (1), promoted to No.3, and Dane Cleaver (0) off back-to-back deliveries.
Mark Chapman stood tall for the visitors even as the UAE bowlers chipped away at the other end. Chapman made 63 off 46 balls (Three fours and three sixes) and was only dismissed in the final over, but aside from Neesham’s 17-ball 21, he hardly found any support.
The par total of 142, their lowest against a non-Test playing nation, was not quite enough to put off a spirited UAE side.
Aayan Afzal Khan (3/20) and Muhammad Jawadullah (2/16) were the pick of the bowlers for UAE.
Aayan got the ‘Player of the Match’ for his game-changing spell. (ANI)
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