Asia Cup: Malik, Akmal star in Pak win over UAE


Dhaka—Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal scored gritty half-centuries after an initial scare by United Arab Emirates (UAE) skipper Amjad Javed, who grabbed 3 wickets in first four overs, to help Pakistan win the encounter by 7 wickets and only 8 balls to spare here on Monday.
Mohammad Hafiz 11, Sharjeel Khan 4 and Khurram Manzoor 0 failed to impress against the minnows.
However, Malik and Akmal steadied the sinking ship and played sensibly to steer Pakistan cross the winning line eventually. Malik made an unbeaten 63 runs off 49 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes while Akmal scored 50* off 46 deliveries hitting 2 fours and 3 sixes.
Javed took all three wickets after contributing vital 27 runs off 18 balls while batting first on winning the toss for UAE.
Shaiman Anwar remained top scorer with 46 in helping his side to put a challenging 129-6 on the board. Anwar faced 42 ball, hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes while skipper Javed hit 3 fours and 2 sixes to end the UAE innings on a high.
Mohammad Amir once again proved his worth, grabbing two wickets for just 6 runs in his four overs. Irfan also took two wickets for 30 while Sami and Afrdi shared a wicket each.
Javed had won the toss and opted to bat first against in the sixth match of Asia Cup T20 here earlier in the evening.
Pakistan made a change as well with fast bowler Wahab Riaz taking a rest and left-arm spinner Mohammad Nawaz making his debut.
The 21-year old is the youngest member of the squad and had a fine Pakistan Super League – 13 wickets in 10 matches, the best by a spinner and some excellent fielding displays.
Shahid Afridi, Pakistan’s captain, had stressed on the importance of senior players stepping up and being consistent while batting, with the World T20 fast approaching. Conditions in Mirpur should help them in that regard, with much of the grass shaved off the pitch.
The surface being used today is also at the corner of the square, making one of the square boundaries quite short in comparison to the other.
“After two bad chases in the Asia Cup, UAE captain Amjad Javed decided to bat first and hoped their impressive bowling attack could band together once again and defend a total in the region of “120 to 130.” They made one change with Sialkot-born Usman Mushtaq coming into the XI in place of Saqlain Haider.
Pakistan: Mohammad Hafeez, Sharjeel Khan, Khurram Manzoor, Shoaib Malik, Umar Akmal, Sarfraz Ahmed, Shahid Afridi (c), Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Amir, Mohammad Irfan
UAE: Rohan Mustafa, Muhammad Kaleem, Mohammad Shahzad, Shaiman Anwar, Muhammad Usman, SP Patil, Amjad Javed (c), Fahad Tariq, Ahmed Raza, Usman Mushtaq, Mohammad Naveed.—Agencies

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