Hamid Hassan made a long awaited return to form today in Dubai, but the Afghan batting order let him down as they were beaten in the fourth ODI at the ICC Cricket Academy.
Put into bat, the UAE lost Amjad Ali early on in their innings, but Andri Berenger helped them score runs in the first half of their innings. He initially put on 34 for the second wicket with Saqib Ali, and then put on 66 with Krishna Karate for the third wicket before he was finally out for 66.
Karate went on to score 43 before Hamid Hassan trapped him lbw, whilst Shaiman Anwar made a first ODI fifty when he scored 51. The final UAE total was 258-9 from their 50 overs. Hamid Hassan finished with figures of 5-45, his first five wicket haul in ODIs. The figures took him to the top of the list for best ODI bowling average using a qualification of a minimum 1000 balls delivered, just ahead of Joel Garner.
Afghanistan's reply was something of a stop-start affair. They lost opener Javed Ahmadi early on, before Nawroz Mangal and Afsar Zazai put on 55 for the second wicket. Mangal was the third man out, having scored 48, and his dismissal was followed by Asghar Stanikzai and Mohammad Nabi putting on 61 for the fourth wicket.
Three wickets fell in quick succession, leaving Afghanistan on the back foot at 146-6. Shafiqullah and Mirwais Ashraf were able to take the score to 192 before the next wicket fell, but by then Afghanistan had fallen behind the required run rate. They were bowled out for 228 to lose by 30 runs, Kamran Shazad and Rohan Mustafa both taking three wickets, the UAE winning the series 3-1.
Neither team has any more fixtures officially scheduled before their World Cup warm-up matches in February, though there is some talk about all four associates setting up camp in Dubai in January for some matches against each other. Hopes that Bangladesh and Zimbabwe would be involved in those fixtures though seem to have been dashed.
United Arab Emirates beat Afghanistan by 30 runs
ICC Academy, Dubai, 4 December
United Arab Emirates 258-9 (50 overs, A Berenger 66, Shaiman Anwar 51, K Karate 43, Hamid Hassan 5-45)
Afghanistan 228 (49.3 overs, Nawroz Mangal 48, Asghar Stanikzai 41, Rohan Mustafa 3-42, Kamran Shazad 3-45)