Ahmed Raza enhances claims for a T20 league contract, but UAE fall to West Indies in Dubai

Ahmed Raza gave further credence to his claims for a Twenty20 league contract, after excelling with the ball for the UAE against the world champions West Indies at the ICC Academy.
West Indies' Johnson Charles hits a ball during the warm-up game against an Emirates Cricket Board XI at the ICC Academy in Dubai, on September 20, 2016. Karim Sahib / AFP
West Indies' Johnson Charles hits a ball during the warm-up game against an Emirates Cricket Board XI at the ICC Academy in Dubai, on September 20, 2016. Karim Sahib / AFP

West Indies 166/7 (20/20 ov)

Emirates Cricket Board XI 144/6 (20/20 ov)

West Indies won by 22 runs

DUBAI // Ahmed Raza gave further credence to his claims for a Twenty20 league contract, after excelling with the ball for the UAE against the world champions West Indies at the ICC Academy.

The UAE seem certain to have their first player signed up to a major T20 franchise when the draft happens for the next Pakistan Super League this winter.

See also:

• Paul Radley: West Indies wary of ‘very, very dangerous’ Pakistan ahead of T20 and ODI series in UAE

• Osman Samiuddin: Pakistan v West Indies, nations bound only by cricket, in need of a hint of meaning

Aaqib Javed left the role of national team coach to join PSL franchise Lahore Qalanders earlier this year, and has pencilled in Mohammed Naveed, the UAE fast bowler, to be part of his squad.

When Aaqib left, he also picked out Raza as being a player with the potential to make the step up to the PSL.

The Sharjah-born left-arm spinner showed why he is held in such high regard with a bewitching spell against the world’s foremost T20 side.

Raza, who shone for the UAE at the Asia Cup on their last outing in this format, took three for 20 in his four overs against the West Indies.

His third wicket, that of Johnson Charles, was a running, diving, caught and bowled.

At that point, the UAE were well placed in the T20 friendly, which was being staged to provide West Indies with practice ahead of the start of their three-match series against Pakistan.

Naveed himself returned identical figures to Raza, with the UAE’s fastest bowler picking up the wickets of Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite and Jason Holder.

Despite the combined efforts of Raza and Naveed, a late assault from Nicholas Pooran, including 14 off the last four balls of the innings, lifted the tourists to 166 for seven from their 20 overs.

That was always out of the national team’s reach, despite the best efforts of Mohammed Qasim, the new UAE opener.

Qasim, who debuted on the tour of Scotland last month, provided a glimpse of some rich batting talent, as he top scored with 46.

Once he had gone, though, an already unlikely task was beyond the home side, as they eventually succumbed to a 22-run loss.

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Krishna Lakhani stars with bat and ball as UAE Under 19s claim seven-wicket win over Hong Kong in Dubai

Krishna Lakhani performed a star turn as the UAE’s Under 19 side began their final preparations for next week’s tour to Malaysia with a win over Hong Kong.

The sides are playing a three-match friendly series in the ICC Academy in Dubai this week, before they set off for the World Cup Qualifier Division 2 in Kuala Lumpur.

Yodhin Punja recalled as captain to boost 2018 World Cup bid

The home side started in impressive fashion, claiming a seven-wicket win on the back of Lakhani’s excellence. The UAE had their guests 29 for six at one point. Hong Kong did rally to make 168 all out but Lakhani returned with figures of four for four from 3.3 overs.

Yodhin Punja and Aryan Lakra also took three wickets apiece.

Lakhani also hit the winning runs, ending on 26 not out, after opener Fahad Nawaz had top scored with 36, as the UAE chased their target for the loss of just three wickets.

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Published: September 20, 2016 04:00 AM

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