DUBAI // Khurram Khan, the veteran UAE captain, made a mockery of the theory that Twenty20 is a young man's game as he guided his team to a comfortable win over a fledgling Uganda side yesterday. The 38-year-old left-hander showed his class with a match-winning unbeaten 46 against a Uganda attack which included a 16-year-old and a 20-year-old. His 96-run alliance with Saqib Ali - who made 44 not out - set up an eight-wicket win, which will boost the confidence of a UAE side who are busy fine-tuning their preparations for next month's World Twenty20 qualifier.
Earlier in the day, Fayyaz Ahmed, the Abu Dhabi-based left-armer, had been the pick of a UAE attack where the spinners were once again back to the fore, as he picked up three wickets for 18 runs. The home side had only played two seamers, Amjad Javed and Qadar Nawaz, when they fired the Ugandans out for 50 the day before. They have since been deprived the services of their powerful all-rounder Javed, who broke his hand in the first limited-overs match.
The search for a replacement was always going to be tough. Opening the batting and the bowling, Javed is two players rolled into one in this format, and his absence from the qualifier squad is a big blow for the host nation. However, Qasim Zubair, the 22-year-old swing bowler who played his heart out in the four-day Intercontinental Shield game against Uganda, did his best to suggest he can take on the new-ball burden yesterday.
The Dubai-born student sent down that Twenty20 rarity, a maiden, in the first over of the match, and finished with neat figures of one for 12 from three overs. @Email:email@example.com