UAE move a step closer to the Caribbean
The UAE retained their unbeaten record at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, as a lacklustre Canada collapsed when chasing a fairly modest target of 143 and were all out for exactly 100.
It was another disappointing batting display by the Canadians, who had earlier done well to restrict the Emiratis to a total of 142 for seven. Arfan Haider (46 from 43 balls) and Saqib Ali (43 from 29) were again the lynchpins of the UAE batting, but Khurram Chauhan took three for 20 for Canada to give his side a fighting chance.
The Canadian reply got off to the worst possible start, however, when danger-man Rizwan Cheema was caught ball-watching off the third ball of the innings and was run out, and when John Davison, after hitting the second ball of the next over for six was bowled by Owais Aftab's next delivery, Canada were in serious trouble at 13 for two.
The situation moved from serious to desperate when Khurram Khan turned to his spinners in the sixth over, and Saqib Ali opened with a double wicket maiden, removing Geoff Barnett with his first ball and Ian Bilcliff with his fourth. Shadeep Silva had Sunil Dhaniram caught behind in the following over, and Canada were 49 for five.
Ash Bagai battled on for 21 before he was bowled by Silva, and although Umar Bhatti and Saad bin Zafar each hit some lusty blows, the innings closed in the 16th over. Saqib finished with two for 9 and Silva two for 7, while Ahmed Raza claimed two for 17.
It had been a miserable tournament for Canada, whose batting big guns consistently failed to fire, but for the UAE, the invitees who have so far carried all before them, a trip to the Caribbean continues to beckon. They begin the Super Four with a crucial two-point advantage, and with games against Ireland and Afghanistan to come they know that one more win just might be enough.