Chirag Suri century underpins record-breaking ODI win for UAE against Oman

National team return to World Cup League 2 action with a thrilling victory in Muscat

Dubai, United Arab Emirates - March 20, 2019: UAE's Chirag Suri makes 100 during the game between UAE and Surrey. Wednesday the 20th of March 2019 ICC cricket academy, Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National
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A sparkling century by Chirag Suri set UAE up for victory over table-toppers Oman as the national team returned to World Cup qualifying action in record-breaking fashion.

Suri’s innings of 115 was the bedrock of a captivating run-chase in the World Cup League 2 in Muscat.

The national team made 308-6 as they beat their Gulf neighbours with four wickets and six deliveries in hand.

It was the UAE’s highest score in One-Day International cricket, and just the second time they had breached 300 in the format, after they made 300-6 against Scotland in 2018.

Suri’s innings was the third highest by a UAE batsman in ODI history, and his 180-run alliance with young wicketkeeper batsman Vriitya Aravind for the second wicket was the country’s second highest in the format.

What made the performance even more remarkable was the fact it was the UAE’s first ODI in over a year. They had only played four competitive matches of any sort in the time since then.

They had not played in WCL2 – which is part of the qualifying system for the 2023 50-over World Cup – since the start of 2020, and had played just seven matches in the competition, compared to 20 by league-leaders Oman.

But after the famine, a feast of cricket is set to follow. The game against Oman was the first of 19 international matches the UAE are set to play over the course of a month and a half. The three ODIs against Oman will be followed by a series of T20 matches, then two back-to-back WCL2 series in UAE.

The three-match series in Muscat is a set of rescheduled fixtures which have twice been postponed. First, the two sides had their final WCL2 match in Muscat in 2020 called off because of the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Oman batsman Jatinder Singh also scored a ton. Courtesy Oman Cricket

They were due to meet again in Namibia in December, only for the sides to beat a rapid retreat home because of the discovery of the Omicron variant in southern Africa.

Oman, for their part, have enjoyed plenty of cricket during the time UAE have been in absent. Jatinder Singh was one of a number of Oman players who caught the eye when they hosted first-round matches at the T20 World Cup last year.

The Muscat-raised opener was straight back into the old routine with a fine hundred against UAE. His 106 was the second century of his ODI career – and his second in the space of a little over four months.

It paved the way for what seemed like an imposing total of 307-9 from the home side’s 50 overs.

UAE’s task was all the more daunting once Muhammad Waseem, the debutant opener in whom so many hopes are invested, fell to the first ball he faced in one-day international cricket, from Bilal Khan.

The partnership Suri and Aravind shared for the second wicket, though, was decisive in giving UAE a chance.

When Aravind went, UAE were left needing 126 from just under 17 overs, with eight wickets left.

It meant the players to follow had licence to blaze away, and Basil Hameed - in particular - thrived. He made 61 in 33 balls to hurry UAE to the winning line.

Although he fell with victory within his side’s grasp, it only delayed the inevitable as UAE sealed the win.

Updated: February 05, 2022, 1:43 PM
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