Mustafa’s strikes land UAE decisive 3-1 ODI series win over Afghanistan

His spell of three wickets for 42 runs took away the momentum in Afghanistan’s chase of a target of 259. The UAE won by 30 runs.

Rohan Mustafa got a chance to repay his debt to the Emirates Cricket Board, and he did well to hand the UAE a decisive 3-1 result in the four-game series of one-day internationals against Afghanistan in Dubai yesterday.

The all-rounder was playing his second game after making a comeback to the national side once his job status was revived following disciplinary issues, and he regained eligibility.

In the absence of spinners Salman Farooq and Mohammed Shahzad, reported for suspect action, Mustafa took three crucial wickets for 42 runs to break the momentum in Afghanistan’s chase of a target of 259. The UAE won by 30 runs.

The hosts went in to bat at the ICC Academy ground after Afghanistan, needing a win to level the series, elected to field.

The UAE continued to shuffle the team to give everyone a chance to hone their skills with next year’s World Cup in mind.

They started off losing two early wickets even as Andri Berenger (66, 10x4) kept the scoreboard ticking. Krishna Chandran (43) and Shaiman Anwar (51) provided able support.

The tall pace bowler Hamid Hassan triggered a collapse in the middle overs, but the lower-order batsmen stayed enough to allow Anwar to reach his half-century with the help of six boundaries and two sixes to take UAE to 258 for nine. Hassan’s spell read five for 45.

The visitors had a similar start, losing wickets at regular intervals, but were always in the hunt, even after the departure of Nawroz Mangal (48), when Mustafa delivered.

At 136 for three in the 32nd over, Mustafa broke through the defence of the well-set Asghar Stanikzai (41) and also trapped the dangerous pinch-hitter Samiullah Shenwari leg before.

He also foxed Shafiqullah and Saqlain Haider, in his second ODI for the UAE, had him stumped. Pace bowler Kamran Shazad mopped up the tail to also finish with three wickets.

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Published: December 5, 2014 04:00 AM