UAE fall just short of 500-run barrier in Asia Cup qualifier thrashing of Singapore

National team are bowled out for 471 before going on to secure a 201-run victory in Nepal

UAE captain Muhammad Waseem smashed 160 runs off 82 balls against Singapore. Subas Humagain for The National
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Vriitya Aravind and Muhammad Waseem both smashed huge centuries as the UAE almost broke through the 500-run barrier during their ACC Premier Cup demolition of Singapore on Sunday.

On a remarkable day of run-scoring for the national team in Kirtipur, captain Waseem battered the bowlers around the ground with a 82-ball 160, that included nine fours and 16 sixes.

Aravind, the 20-year-old wicketkeeper who hit 185 against Kuwait last Wednesday, managed a mere 174 this time round – his knock coming off a more sedate 133 balls, containing 17 fours and seven sixes.

The duo's 246-run partnership for the second wicket – opener Aryan Lakra had managed just 12 before being bowled by Adwitya Bhargava – put the UAE on their way to a mammoth total.

And the 500-run mark looked in touching distance after teenager star Aayan Afzal Khan's 50-ball 74, that included nine fours and three sixes.

But when the talented all-rounder fell with the score at 460-7, the UAE's final three wickets fell in quick succession and they ended up all out for 471. Medium pacer Bhargava finished with 4-85 from his eight overs.

The UAE's victory – in a fixture that did not have full one-day international status – never looked in any danger as Singapore reached 270-9 in reply, with Manpreet Singh (66 from 64 balls) and Thilipan Omaidurai (52 from 56) showing some resistance.

The wickets were shared around the UAE's bowling attack with 17-year-old whizz-kid Aayan (2-53), Karthik Meiyappan (2-37) and Sanchit Sharma (2-32) all claiming a couple of wickets each.

The UAE now sit second in their group after three games following the 201-run victory, level on points with Hong Kong who have played a match less.

Whoever wins the 10-team event in Nepal will qualify for this year’s Asia Cup, which is set to be played in the ODI format in Pakistan as a precursor to the 50-over World Cup.

Updated: April 24, 2023, 6:30 AM