UAE just about maintained their bid for silverware in the Under 19 World Cup in the Caribbean after a stuttering, one-wicket win over Uganda in the plate quarter-final.
The national team seemed all set to breeze through to a potential semi-final against West Indies in the consolation competition, after firing the Baby Cranes out for 123 in Trinidad.
Adithya Shetty led the way as the UAE’s spinners exacted control over the Ugandan batsmen. The Dubai-based leg-spinner took four for 29 from his 10 overs.
Aayan Afzal Khan, the left-arm spinner who only turned 16 in November, took two for seven, and Nilansh Keswani took two for 26 – while each of them also affected a run out each, as Uganda were dismissed in 38.1 overs.
The pursuit appeared to be a cruise. By the 15th over, UAE were halfway to the target for the loss of just Kai Smith, whose innings of 25 ended up as the highest score in the chase.
But in the space of 14 deliveries, UAE fell from 61 for one to 62 for five.
Aayan and Shetty each then made as valuable a contribution with the bat as they had earlier with the ball.
From No 9 in the order, Aayan made 22 to revive a chase that appeared to be faltering. It was left to Shetty to blaze two fours in a last wicket stand worth 12 with Jash Giyanani to get the UAE over the line.
UAE might now face the hosts in the semi-final of the second-tier competition on Friday. West Indies play their plate quarter-final against Papua New Guinea on Wednesday.