UAE celebrate qualification for Women’s Asia Cup by thrashing Malaysia

Captain Esha Oza top scores as national team claim ACC Women’s Premier Cup title in Kuala Lumpur

UAE captain Esha Oza was named player of the tournament after top-scoring in the ACC Premier Cup final. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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The UAE celebrated qualification for a second successive Women’s Asia Cup with a comprehensive win over Malaysia in the final of the ACC Premier Cup in Kuala Lumpur.

Esha Oza was the standout performer as she claimed the most notable success since taking over the captaincy from Chaya Mughal last September.

The opener top-scored with 53 to set up a 37-run win over the hosts in the final. She was subsequently named player of both the match and tournament.

Victory in the final was the gloss to a more significant achievement that had happened one game earlier.

In beating Thailand in the semifinal the national team secured a place at the Asia Cup, which will be played in September.

It will be the second time they have played at that event, which features giants of Asian cricket like India, Sri Lanka and Pakistan. They debuted in Bangladesh two years ago.

At that event, Thailand reached the semifinal. The Thais have been the outstanding team at Associate level in Asia for some time now, but the UAE have now won each of their past two meetings with them.

“We have worked really hard for this, and are thrilled the hard work has paid off,” Oza said.

Oza hit her third T20 international century, in a group stage win over Oman. She finished the competition with a half century that set her side up to make 105 for three, with Kavisha Kumari making 30 in an 84-run partnership with her for the first wicket.

Malaysia did not threaten in reply, with Heena Hotchandani – the tournament’s leading wicket-taker – and Vaishnave Mahesh taking two wickets each.

“We have bowled really well throughout the tournament, so no matter what total was on the board, we were confident we could defend it,” Oza said.

“At the start maybe we were a little too cautious. It was an important game but it is still important to play the game you normally play. We managed to put up a good total in the end.

“We have enjoyed our time in Malaysia and really done well as a team.”

Updated: February 18, 2024, 7:10 AM