India cruised to its fourth consecutive victory beating the United Arab Emirates by nine wickets in its concluding round-robin league match of the Asia Cup T20 here at the Sher-e-Bangla stadium on Thursday. India scored the required runs in just 10.1 overs after UAE capitulated to 81 for nine in 20 overs, after deciding to bat first.
With the final berth already secured, India brought in left-arm spinner Pawan Negi, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh and pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar in place of Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Ashish Nehra.
Having spluttered against the previous oppositions, the India's openers -- Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan -- came good for the first time, putting up a decent 43 runs. Rohit was in his elements as he clobbered UAE's mediocre bowling with seven boundaries and a six to reach 39 (28 balls) before falling to Qadeer Ahmed. Dhawan had little to do as Yuvraj Singh arrived next to hasten India’s victory with some lusty hitting.
Picking up from where he had left against Sri Lanka, Yuvraj was in his belligerent best as he hit four boundaries and a six to remain unbeaten on 25 (14 balls) while keeping his strike rate well over 150 for the second time in succession. Dhawan remained unbeaten on 16 (20 balls).
Read the post-match comments >here
Earlier, UAE found itself in a crisis right after the start as the Indians put up a disciplined bowling effort. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was methodical in his bowling and picked up two wickets for a miserly eight runs in his quota of four overs while his new-ball partner Jasprit Bumrah scalped one for 23.
Making his debut Pawan Negi also picked up his first international wicket. Harbhajan Singh, Hardik Pandya and Yuvraj Singh, also had one wicket each to their names. Two run outs completed the tally of wickets as an inexperienced opposition failed to show the requisite gumption against the Indians.
Indians meant business right from the start as Bhuvneshwar started with a maiden before getting the UAE opener Swapnil Patil for one in his second over. Bumrah, who operated from the other end, went through the defence of Mohammed Shahzad and got him for a duck. At two for two, there was little that UAE could hope for in the rest of the innings.
Negi, who made news becoming the most expensive Indian buy in this season’s IPL, got Muhammad Usman (9) caught by Harbhajan in the long-off. Negi next caught the UAE skipper Amjad Javed (0) to return the compliment to Harbhajan, who now was the bowler. The wickets fell in regular intervals thereafter as opener Shaiman Anwar remained the only UAE batsman to offer some resistance to the Indian attack scoring 43 (48b, 3x4, 1x6).
Teams paid their condolences to former NZ Captain, Martin Crowe earlier in the evening >pic.twitter.com/W60qlAfLO4— BCCI (@BCCI) >March 3, 2016
The players and officials observed a minute's silence in memory of Martin Crowe before the game. Martin's brother, Jeff, is the match referee for this game.