The UAE showed why they are the team to beat when they defeated Malaysia convincingly by 227 runs in the ACC Fast Track Country Tournament played in Sharjah over the weekend.
On a wicket favouring the pacemen, Ali Asad Abbas was in deadly form in Malaysia’s second innings, claiming 6 wickets for 36 runs. He was ably supported by allrounder Syed Maqsood (4-24) as Malaysia were bundled out for just 73.
Though thumped by the eventual margin of 227, the match had actually started well for Malaysia. Bowling and fielding well, they restrict the UAE’s powerful batting line up to just 195 runs. Rohan Vishnu Suppiah taking 4 wickets with the Malaysia skipper Suresh Navaratnam and Sarath Jayawardhana taking two wickets each. Arshad Ali top scored for UAE with 55 runs which included 6 fours. The UAE bounced back strongly however, and wrested the initiative by close of play. Malaysia finishing on 73 for 5.
Malaysia were all out for 123 before lunch on the second day. Sarath Jayawardhana top- scored with 33 runs with Ali Asad and Mohammad Tauqir grabbing 3 wickets each. Resuming their second innings with a lead of 72 runs, wicketkeeperopener Mohammed Tasken fell for 1 and early runs were at a premium as Malaysia showed some fight.
Arshad Ali and Naeem Aslam had just notched a fifty-partnership, when Naeem was caught behind off the bowling of teenager Anwar Arudin who was playing in his first match in this Fast Track Country Tournament. After the fall of Naeem’s wicket, there was no turning back for the UAE team and Arshad Ali continued his good form and put on a 126 runs 3rd wicket partnership with Kashif Khan. Arshad Ali went on to score a brilliant 123 runs not out, his second undefeated century of the tournament.
Kashif Khan, who is making a comeback after a serious car accident, scored a steady 59 The UAE declared at 228 for 3, leaving Malaysia a target of 301. And the UAE over a day in which to bowl them out.
Malaysia did well to survive the remainder of the second day with no wickets down and resuming at 32 for 0 on the morning of the final day could have looked forward with some degree of confidence to at least saving the match.
Any hope of a fight back from Malaysia was shattered by the lanky medium pace bowler, Ali Asad Abbas who bowled with fire to bundle out Malaysia for 73 runs in less than 40 overs. Only Rakesh Madhavan offered any resistance with 29 runs in 90 balls. The match finishing by midday.
The UAE emphasised their claim to be the best team among the non Test playing nations, while Malaysia will be heading back home wondering what went wrong with their batting. They have not been able to pass 200 runs for the third match in a row.
The UAE next play Nepal in an intriguing contest in Kathmandu this weekend while Malaysia will have two weeks to get their act together if they want to win their remaining two FTCT matches against Hong Kong and Singapore.
Filed November 4th 2004