Afghanistan 161 for 6 (Shahzad 38, Najibullah 31*, Shahzad 3-34) beat United Arab Emirates 150 for 7 (Rameez 49, Janat 3-31, Fareed 2-21, Rashid 2-27) by 11 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details


Asghar Stanikzai’s team put on a challenging score for UAE © Chris Whiteoak

A quickfire opening knock from Mohammad Shahzad and late wickets from Fareed Ahmad and Rashid Khan sealed Afghanistan’s 11-run win against United Arab Emirates in the first of the three T20Is in Dubai. Chasing 162, UAE were threatening at one point at 106 for 3 in the 15th over before Fareed and Rashid struck twice each to dent the hosts’ lower order.

Opting to bat, Afghanistan were steady till the 10th over with Shahzad’s 29-ball 38 but he was dismissed by his namesake, UAE’s seamer, who was on a hat-trick as he had Samiullah Shenwari caught behind on the next ball. They stuttered further when Asghar Stanikzai was bowled for 13 in the next over.

Afghanistan, however, recovered with a 40-run stand between Mohammad Nabi (26) and debutant Karim Janat (25) as the duo pushed the score past 100. UAE would have sensed another opening when Janat was run-out in the 17th over but Najibullah Zadran dashed their hopes by blasting 31 runs off only 10 balls in the slog overs.

After smashing Rohan Mustafa for consecutive sixes in the 18th over, he struck a six and two fours off Amjad Javed and another set of those in the last over against Shahzad to help Afghanistan accumulate 55 runs in the last three overs.

UAE’s top order was rocked by Janat’s medium-pace as he broke the opening stand in the fourth over and removed Mustafa and Shahzad within a space of three balls in the seventh over, leaving UAE on 41 for 3. However, Shaiman Anwar Rameez Shahzad joined forces to score at nearly nine runs per over to help them past 100. But Anwar holed out to midwicket for a 27-ball 34 before Fareed dismissed Amjad Gul and Javed in consecutive overs.

UAE were left with a staff task of scoring 30 runs from the last two overs but Rashid conceded only three in the penultimate over and also dismissed Rameez for 49 on the last ball of the over. Muhammad Usman struck two sixes in the last over but they could score 15 of the required 27 runs. While Janat finished with 3 for 31, Fareed’s frugal figures read 4-0-21-2 and Rashid ended with 2 for 27 from four overs.

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