UAE moves into main draw of Asia Cup

United Arab Emirates has secured its spot in the main draw of the Asia Cup after its 71-run victory over Oman on the final day of the qualifying round, in Fatullah.

UAE had participated in the World Cup last year.   -  AP

United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sealed its berth in the main draw of the Asia Cup with after defeating Oman by 71 runs on the final day of the qualifying matches for the tournament in Fatullah. Contesting alongside Afghanistan, Oman and Hong Kong, it won all its three matches, the first against heavyweight Afghanistan on February 19 a crucial one which gave it an edge. UAE will now play the first of its four matches against the major teams of the sub-continent on February 25.

>Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Going into the final day of the qualifying round, Monday, the team needed a win to reserve its spot. Inserted in by Oman, UAE gathered 172 runs in its 20 overs, led opener Muhammad Kaleem’s 40-ball 50, No. 3 Mohammad Shahzad’s 34 and a flurry of boundaries from No. 5 Mohammad Usman, who scored 46 off 22 balls. Usman’s acceleration gave UAE the impetus.

Batting collapse around Maqsood

Although Oman was served well by opener Zeeshan Maqsood, who stuck for a majority of the faltering chase, no one stuck with him for any significant partnership that could keep Oman in the hunt. It eventually finished at 101 for 8 in its 20 overs, with Maqsood top scoring with 46 off 42 balls, and the next highest individual score being 13. There were six batsmen who were dismissed for single figures, and this handed the game to UAE. The wickets were shared around; all six who bowled for UAE were rewarded with scalps.

Oman’s victory could have facilitated a three-way tie between UAE and Afghanistan (which won its final qualifying game by 66 runs) in terms of points for a spot in the main draw of the tournament.

The Asia Cup, in Bangladesh, runs till March 6, two days before the start of the World Twenty20 in India.