|World Cricket League Championship 2011-2013|
UAE shock Afghanistan
40 year old UAE skipper Khurran Khan rolled back the years to inflict a shock 15 run win over Afghanistan, putting a serious dent in their hopes of securing one of the two automatic places on offer for the 2015 World Cup.
Batting first Khan top scored with 53 as UAE reached 161 for 3 with over 20 overs remaining, and looking as if they would post a total approaching 300.
Howver his dismissal sparked a quite extraordinary collapse as they lost their last seven wickets for just 37 runs to finish 198 all out - a total which lookd well below par, even if the track was playing a little low.
Shaiman Anwar (42), Faizan Asif (36) and Vikranth Shetty (21) were the other contributors of note before the late order collapse.
For Afghanistan, the part time spin of Karim Sadiq (3-32) and Dawlat Zadran (3-24) were best with the ball.
In reply Afghanistan lost two wickets before the interval as makeshift opner Asghar Stanikzai and Javed Ahmadi both fell to Sharif Asadullah (2-19).
Nowroz Mangal (22) and Mohammed Shahzad (27) both got starts but failed to capitalise, and at 68-4, UAE were well on top.
Gulbodin Naib (43) and the UAE nemesis Mohammed Nabi (39) added 59 for the 5th wicket and when they took the total to 127 for 4, they looked to have gained the upper hand.
Khurram Khan had other ideas, and he claimed 4 for 25 to take his side to an unexpected 15 run win. His last wicket was that of Hamid Hassan who had looked as if he might pull the game out of the fire for his side, hitting two sixes and fours in a quickfire 22, before being last man out, trapped lbw by Khan, much to the delight of the sparse home support.
Ahmed Raza (2-33) and Arshad Ali (2-39) were the other wicket takers of note.
It hasn't been the greatest of starts for new Aghanistan coach Aftab Habib, who will look for his side to bounce back when the teams meet again on Wednesday at the same venue in a day/night encounter.
For UAE coach Khurram Khan there will be nothing but delight at getting one over on his former charges, especially given the acrimonious nature of his departure last year.