From the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier 2010 - Day 5 - UAE v Afghanistan

2.56 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan AFGHANISTAN HAVE DONE IT! With three balls to spare, winning by 4 wickets. Amazing scenes here, the players and fans are delirious. UAE walk off disconsolate. They were so close, and just a few more runs could have made a difference.

"Afghanistan has qualified for the ICC World T-20 World Cup 2010" says the big scoreboard.

Yes, they have! And they'll impress there too.

2.54 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan The Afghan squad and officials are all massed on the boundary edge along with 20 cameramen and photographers. Sami is run-out first ball of the over, backing up too far. Raees, the veteran, jogs in.
2.53 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Sami Shenwarti dinks one fine and with the last over starting Afghanistan need just 1 to win and go to the West Indies!
2.51 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Within 5 of victory Nawaz sneaks one under Nabi's bat. 7 balls to go. Afghanistan always seem to make it interesting! UAE still fighting hard.
2.49 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Nawaz takes another good catch, this one even better than the first one, and Asghar falls for 26 off 31. Nabi, the Afghan star, walks in, right in time for another potential Man of the Match award. Afghanistan 88 for 4, with 13 wanted off 14 balls.

UAE still have a chance. One more wicket...
2.43 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan UAE and Afghanistan had been level after 10 overs, now the game looks to be slipping away from UAE. But there are still three overs left and Afghanistan still need to make 14 runs.
2.39 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Crowd are as noisy as they've ever been now and approaching 2000 in number. Partnership of 29 in 32 balls between Noor Ali who's been in from the start and Asghar. Afghanistan 77 for 3 after 15. 24 off the last 5 overs wanted. UAE will need everything to go their way from now on in.
2.32 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan The ball after hitting his third boundary, a fabulous cover-drive, Asghar plays an immaculate forward defensive which is cheered just as much by his team. The boy can play! Afghanistan 72 for 3 after 14 overs. 29 off 6 overs wanted.
2.26 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Not a single Afghan boundary in the past 12 overs as they're on 50 for 3. Until Asghar gets off the mark with a 6 over long-off. Nine scoreless balls he had faced up to then! Afghanistan - unpredictable, yes, untameable, quite often, undefeatable? Maybe. Asghar hits an even bigger 6, in the same place. What can Khurram Khan, the bowler, the captain, do? 18 off the over and Afghanistan are on 68 for 3 after 13. They need 33 off the last 7 overs.

Khurram had bowled 3 overs for just 7 runs up to then.
2.19 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Just when the momentum was swinging back towards Afghanistan, Nowroz Mangal finds Nawaz at long off and Afghanistan are 48 for 3 after 10 overs. A partnership of 31 off 36 balls comes to an end. Game in the balance yet again. Mohammad Asghar is the new batsman, playing his first match of the tournament.
2..07 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan More than a 1000 Afghan fans in the ground now, a ratio of 20 to 1 to UAE fans. Afghanistan 32 for 2 after 7, five bowlers used by Khurram Khan, including himself so far. You can sense how much UAE want to win this one.
2.01 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Good over for Afghanistan, 9 off Saqib's first. They're 25 for 2 after 5 overs and back up with the rate. Shadeep Silva looks the danger man. He's spinning the ball both ways and changing his angles and pace very well.
1.57 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Afghanistan lose their second wicket, Shahzad losing his leg-stump to Shadeep Silva and their 16 for 2 after 4 overs. Afghanistan's captain Nowroz Mangal joins Noor Ali at the wicket
1.51 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan The tension is thick across the ground. So much riding on the next hour's play, so very much. Spin on at both ends now. UAE looking to press the Afghan self-destruct button. With the fielding restrictions for the first 6 overs, its going to take some great bowling and fielding to not gift Afghanistan runs. And Mohammad Shahzad and Noor Ali can play spin.
1.45 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan UAE try Shadeep Silva's slow left-arm to open and he strikes with his second ball, knocking over Karim Sadiq who didn't read the arm ball at all, and Afghanistan 5 for 1 in the 2nd over.
1.39 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Noor Ali and Karim Sadiq the regular openers stride out to join the umpires and the UAE team on the field. They could win it in 10, though one feels their coach would prefer they won the match at a more sedate pace.

UAE are going to be super-noisy on the field. Afghanistan's fans a little quiet at the moment. Tense, expectant, daring to dream....
1.27 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan UAE finish on 100 for 9. Top performance by Afghanistan in the field, almost flawless. Now, can their batsmen keep their heads?!? UAE are master competitors and every little bit's going to be used by them. At stake, as we all know, a place on the biggest world T20 stage...
1.22 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan UAE hit their first boundary in 44 balls and end the 19th over on 91 for 8. Hamid ends Naeemuddin with the first ball of the 19th, out for 18 off 24.
1.13 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Hamid knocks out leg and off with a yorker! Shadeep Silva goes for 1 and UAE are 80 for 7 at the start of the 18th.
1.11 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Still no boundaries since the start of the 11th over and Nabi strikes with the fourth ball of the 16th, bowling Fayyaz off and middle, swinging across the line while down on one knee. Afghanistan's day so far, but it isn't over yet. UAE 77 for 6 with 20 balls to go.
1.04 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan No UAE boundaries for 28 balls as Afghanistan stay on top. UAE 68 for 5 after 15. Will need to go better than a run a ball to get past 100.
12.56 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan UAE run-rate's slipping all the while. Hamid Hassan back on - he's rarely expensive but then not many feel forced to fling the bat at him. they can expect four yorkers an over.
12.52 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Nabi - what a star! Pins Saqib with the second ball of the over, the top spinner and UAE are 56 for 5 after 12.2 overs. Fayyaz Ahmed comes in, due a big score. Could today be the day he comes good?
12.50 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Every dot ball being cheered now by the Afghan fans, UAE 56 for 4 after 12, will need to score at 8 an over from now on to get to 120.
12.44 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Nabi traps Abdul Rehman the ball lafter being swung round to square leg for 4 and UAE are 53 for 4 in the 11th over. The zip and zap Naeemuddin Aslam comes in.

The Afghan drums are heard for the first time today, along with the trumpets.
12.43 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Saqib and Abdul Rehman cleverly working the ball into the gaps, picking up singles. UAE 49 for 3 after 10. Partnership of 38 off 45 balls. Not many big hitters left are these two but a platform is being built for a competitive score. Crowd now close to 600. Nabi replaces the erratic Sami Shenwari. Class v class.
12.34 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Mirwais finsihes his spell 4-0-15-2, has bowled really well and set things up for the four other bowlers. Legspin of Sami Shenwari to replace Shahpour. UAE 33 for 3 after 8. One feels any score above 100 will be a pressure-ridden one.
12.32 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Shahpour finishes his spell 4-0-18-1. UAE 28 for 3 after 7. Partnership of 19 in 23 balls so far between Saqib and Abdul Rehman.
12.25 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Mirwais forces a Saqib edge, no slip though and its 4. UAE 22 for 3 after 6 overs. A good over gets a round of applause from his team.
12.23 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Shahpour and Mirwais are finding swing and lift today, batting isn't easy. Couple of misfields giving UAE some runs, they are 17 for 3 after 5 overs.

Crowd building all the time, 95% Afghan fans.
12.15 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Mirwais's outswinger to the left-handed Khurram is tickled behind and UAE's captain falls for 1! Big blow to them, 11 for 3 after 3.1 . The intensely competitive Saqib Ali, the Jake La Motta of UAE cricket, comes in. Much, much to do before he even thinks of landing some knock-out blows.
12.14 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Shahpour to Khurram - leftie to leftie - is going to be a good battle. Shahpour's just hurrying on to the batsmen today, but Khurram's the master of playing as late as possible. Khurram rides one down to third man to get off the mark. UAE 11 for 2 after 3 overs.
12.09 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Things going Afghanistan's way! Tight-line by Shahpour, Arfan slices one too close too him, and it flies to Hamid Hassan at third man, who coolly takes the catch. UAE 9 for 2 after 2.2 overs. UAE's captain and titan Khurram Khan comes in.
12.04 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan And he castles Muhammad Iqbal with his first inswinger! UAE 5 for 1 after 1.1 overs. Big cheer from the 400 fans in the ground now.
12.03 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Five off the first over by Shahpour Zadran, UAE's pinch-hitters kept relatively in check so far. The steady and much under-rated inswing bowler Mirwais Ashraf to bowl the second.
12.01 PM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan It's a shame that one of the Asian teams will be knocking out the other at the end of the match, but at least one of them will be going to the World Twenty20 and that's better than none at all.
11.57 AM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Final preparations for both teams now. In three hours one of them will be heading towards the West Indies for the World T20. UAE feel it's about time they won one against Afghanistan, they beat them in South Africa in the World Cup qualifier in May last year and came within a whisker at the ACC Twenty20 Cup in November before being hammered in the Final a couple of days later. UAE's batting has impressed so far this tournament, and a big score could be on the cards. Afghanistan's bowlers and fielders have been shining too. It should be a good contest.

Crowd building, about 250 in the ground now. Big cheer as the UAE openers Muhammad Iqbal and Arfan Haider take the field. Game on!
11.33 AM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan UAE have won the toss and have chosen to bat. Positive move by Khurram Khan, wants his team to set up a total and then let it, and all the pressure that builds up, make life as difficult as possible for the Afghans.

Both teams pretty quiet in their warm-ups, not looking to use up too much energy. "It's all mental from here," said Afghanistan's coach Kabir Khan earlier.
11.18 AM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan About a hundred Afghan fans in the ground now, the UAE team warming up below them.
11.03 AM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan Both teams are on the outfield at Dubai International Cricket Stadium now. TV cameras filming the Afghan huddle. It's a warmer day than those before, could mean more swing for the bowlers.
10.35 AM Dubai, UAE v Afghanistan
Afghanistan have arrived early for the big match. They had a long team meeting last night, looking to set the tactics that'll get them to a big defendable score against the UAE if they bat first and a solid run-chase if they bat second.

UAE will be at the ground in about 20 minutes.