Khan leads UAE to crucial win against Hong Kong
a rapid-fire 78 from captain Khurram Khan saw the UAE record a 22 run victory over Hong Kong in a top of the table clash at Queenstown Events Centre, Queenstown.
The UAE inflicted Hong Kong's first defeat of the tournament after posting 249 from 48.1 overs, thanks to contributions from Amjad Ali (49), Rohan Mustafa (32) and Mohammad Naveed (29 not out).
Haseeb Amjad (three for 33) was the main wicket-taker for Hong Kong.
Mark Chapman (59) and Babar Hayat (46 not out) scored the runs in Hong Kong's run chase, however, the side fell short by 22 runs, with a four-wicket haul for Manjula Guruge (four for 39) and three for Rohan Mustafa proving too much.
UAE captain Khurram Khan was thrilled with his team's victory, and confirmation that it will advance to the Super Six stage. "It is a wonderful feeling. We played superbly, and we take the two points from today's win through into the next round. That's really important."
Khurram Khan gave credit to his batsmen for the win. "Our strength is batting, and now everybody is scoring well. The batting is clicking and that's a very good sign for the Super Six."
"We're definitely confident we can qualify for the ICC Cricket World Cup. We'll take each game as it comes, but we're feeling good," he said.
Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson was disappointed with the result, but was optimistic about his team's prospects for the rest of the tournament. "Obviously we're very disappointed to lose today after three pretty convincing performances, and with UAE qualifying as well it's a shame we couldn't win and take those points through with us."
"The Super Six stage is going to be tough. All the teams that have made it through deserve to be there, but three games in six days will really test everyone."
The Super Six matches will be played at Rangiora Oval, Hagley Oval and Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Christchurch from 26 to 30 January, with each team carrying forward its points from the group stage that it won against other Super Six teams.
During the same period, play-off matches will be played at Bay Oval and Bay Oval 2, Mount Maunganui, to determine the final positions of Canada, Nepal, Netherlands and Uganda.