Left-arm spinner Khurram Khan produced a magic spell to bowl the United Arab Emirates (UAE) back in contention against Kenya at the draw of stumps on the third day of the ICC Intercontinental Cup match at Sharjah Stadium on Wednesday.

After the home team conceded a 102-run first innings lead, Khan returned excellent figures of 25.2-10-26-4 to spin Kenya out for a modest 171 in the second innings.

When curtains fell on the penultimate day's play, the UAE, chasing 273 for victory, had reached 17 for the loss of former captain Arshad Khan who became Peter Ongondo's first wicket of the match.

The day started with UAE struggling at 185-8 while replying to Kenya's 326. Amjad Ali, who was 37 not out overnight, continued his good work by taking the UAE score to 224. Ali returned undefeated on 52, an innings that was laced with seven fours and a six.

Together with Wasim Bari, who contributed 29, Ali put on 45 priceless runs for the ninth wicket.

Elijah Otieno and Lameck Ngoche shared the last two UAE wickets to put their names amongst the wicket-takers.

Kenya, with a handy 102-run lead, was expected to bat the UAE out of the match but Khurram Khan had different ideas. Khan, who took a career-best 6-98 against Namibia in the previous match, bowled with a lot of variety and controlled variation to keep his team well on course for what still remains a difficult target to chase.

Khan was well supported by paceman Fahad Alhashmi (2-29) and fellow spinners Ahmed Raza (2-25) and Saqib Ali (2-26)

Kenya's second innings could have folded for a lesser score had James Kamande not held the innings together. The 29-year-old who has played 47 ODIs and 13 first-class matches, struck an unconquered 62 that came off 160 balls and included six boundaries.

Opener Morris Ouma was the other notable scorer with a quickfire 41 off 50 balls with seven hits to the fence.

With the UAE requiring another 256 for victory on a wearing pitch offering significant assistance to the spinners, an absorbing last day's play is on the cards.