Rameez Shahzad powers UAE to T20 series win in Netherlands

Batsman makes 49 as national team clinch another morale-boosting victory with three balls to spare in Amstelveen

Rameez Shahzad wants to follow in his father's footsteps by representing UAE at a World Cup. Courtesy ICC
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Rameez Shahzad guided the UAE to a five-wicket win over the Netherlands as they took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the four-match Twenty20 international series.

The 31-year-old batsman made 49 as the national team clinched another morale-boosting victory with three balls to spare in Amstelveen.

Although Rameez fell one run short of his half century, and with the winning line in sight, Mohammed Boota and debutant Waheed Ahmed took the away side to the win in the final over.

It was Rameez’s most significant contribution in the UAE colours since suspension and injury ruled him out of a number of national team matches last season.

His innings was the centre-piece of a fine all-round display by the touring side.

Earlier, thrifty bowling from the national team had restricted Netherlands to 136-9 from their 20 overs, with only Ben Cooper managing to break the shackles.

The tall left-hander made 46 from 36 balls, but the UAE’s bowlers proved so inhibiting that only two other batsmen in the innings managed to register boundaries – Pieter Seelaar and Sebastiaan Braat, who hit one four apiece.

As had been the case in the opening game two days earlier, Rohan Mustafa and Zahoor Khan led the way with the ball.

Mustafa took 3-27, and Zahoor took 2-20, after captain Mohammed Naveed had sent down a wicket maiden in the opening over of the match.

Although Mustafa went early in the reply, UAE made a confident start to the chase, with Ashfaq Ahmed continuing where he left off in making a half century last time out.

Once Ashfaq went for a breezy 25, Rameez and the in-form Mohammed Usman shared an alliance worth 59 to keep the away side on track for the victory.

Although both fell before the final over, with Usman adding 34 to the half century he made in the opening game, UAE were not to be denied.

Boota clinched the win when he hit Seelaar, the Dutch captain, to the leg-side boundary off the third ball of the final over.

The series continues when the sides meet again on Tuesday, and concludes with the fourth match on Thursday.