UAE 148 (48.1) Bangladesh 110/1 (24.5/35, winners by DLS)
With both teams suffering convincing losses against England, and achieving equally convincing victories against Canada, the winner of Saturday’s game was set to advance to the Super League Quarterfinals. UAE’s hope was challenged immediately, as Bangladesh didn’t waste time showing the world why they were defending champions against a team which is more than capable of punching above their weight class.
After losing the toss and batting first, UAE found Bangladesh’s field difficult to penetrate early on. After losing two wickets in the third over to catches from fielders inside the circle to stall a start at 8/2, UAE managed only eight more runs in their next eight overs against Ashikur Zaman and Tanzin Hasan Sakib. The dominant spell from Bangladesh’s openers produced four consecutive maiden overs and put pressure on Druv Parashar and captain Alishan Sharafu to rebuild UAE’s innings while bringing themselves out of a defensive rut.
Parashar and Sharafu’s third wicket partnership lasted 19 overs, but at 44 runs it was never going to be enough to send UAE toward a satisfying total. Sadly for UAE, it was also their best partnership on the day. A valiant effort from Punya Mehra challenged Bangladesh, but with wickets falling around him, the Bengal Tigers were in the tail by the time Mehra was dismissed for 43 in the 43rd over with UAE at 124 for 7 wickets. UAE managed only 24 runs from there, totaling 148 all out.
The Bangladesh chase, shortened to 35 overs, was clinched by way of DLS within 25 overs, with only one wicket lost along the way. Mahfijul Islam 64 from 69 not out and Iftakher Hussain’s 37 from 70 were more than enough to send the defending champions into the Super League quarter-finals, by way of a second place finish (behind England) in Group A. There, they match up against India on January 29. India completed their domination of Group B with a win over Uganda.
Meanwhile, UAE are relegated to the Plate League, and will face Uganda on Tuesday, January 25.
Papau New Guinea 50 (22.4) Pakistan 51/1 (12)
By the time Haseebulah Khan finished the game with a boundary off Karoho Kevau on the final ball of the 12th over of Pakistan’s quick chase of PNG’s mere 50 runs, PNG’s only consolation for the day had been long forgotten. Junior Morea opened PNG’s attack with the wicket of Muhammad Shahzad, Pakistan’s opener who had just scored 43 runs to set the table in Pakistan’s win over Afghanistan on Thursday.
Aside from that brief moment of revenge, after Shahzad had slammed the door on PNG with a five wicket haul in the first innings, it was all Pakistan on Saturday. Coming into the final game of the group stage, Shahzad had bowled only one ball in the tournament, though he tossed three overs for 17 runs and a wicket against Canada in a warmup. On Saturday, Shahzad was the ace of Pakistan’s arsenal, perhaps demonstrating the depth of one of the top teams of the tournament. Pakistan head into the Super League quarter-finals against Australia on Friday, January 28. PNG, who failed to score 100 runs even once in the group stage, will move on to the Plate League, where they will face a West Indies team that took Group D winner Sri Lanka down to the wire in the final game of the group stage.
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