ICC Media Release
It's finely balanced at Sharjah Stadium between the United Arab Emirates and Namibia after day two of their ICC Intercontinental Cup match as the Africans are 104 runs ahead of their hosts with seven second-innings wickets still intact.
The day looked like going the way of the UAE with captain Saqib Ali registering a fine century early on and, in the process, making sure of the first-innings points for his team.
The 29-year-old was eventually dismissed by Michael du Randt for 104 priceless runs in a knock that lasted for 184 balls and included 14 fours and one six. He was ably supported by the lower order with Ahmed Raza making 35 and Zahid Shah hanging around for 29.
With Saqib at the crease, the UAE was in control at 220-7 but the last three wickets fell smartly and the home team finished on 224 all out, 60 runs ahead.
Unlike the first innings, the Namibia opening batsmen stuck to their task well second time around, putting on 81 for the first wicket. Namibia did lose JB Burger (38), du Randt (2) and Gerrie Snyman (19) before the close, with wickets for Khurram Khan, Arshad Ali and Zahid Shah, but at the other end 19-year-old Dawid Botha had stood fast.
Botha finished the day on 96 not out, just four short of what could be his second first-class century. Saqib and his bowlers will be doing everything they can to stop him and to prevent Namibia from building a match-winning lead.
With the visitors already 104 runs ahead, the game is very much in the balance. A good morning for the bowlers could force Namibia to set a very getable target but if Botha and company keep going the way they are, Saqib and the rest of the UAE batting could face an uphill task to save the game.