UAE level series 1-1 thanks to four-fors from Naseer and Jawadullah.


UAE level series 1-1 thanks to four-fors from Naseer and Jawadullah.

In a thrilling encounter, UAE emerged victorious against Afghanistan, leveling the three-match T20I series at 1-1. The match showcased stellar performances on both sides, with quick fifties from openers Muhammad Waseem and Aryan Lakra, complemented by exceptional four-wicket hauls by Muhammad Jawadullah and Ali Naseer.

Opting to bat first, the UAE openers set the tone with a formidable 72-run partnership in 8.3 overs. Captain Waseem's aggressive innings, scoring 53 off 32 balls, was crucial. However, quick strikes by Qais Ahmad disrupted UAE's progress. Lakra then took charge, leading the team to a total of 166. The late flourish from Akif Raja and Lakra, who remained unbeaten on 63, bolstered the UAE innings.

In response, Afghanistan's openers, Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, made a brisk start, reaching 47 for 0 in five overs. However, Ali Naseer turned the game in UAE's favor by removing key batsmen, including Gurbaz and Zazai. Jawadullah's quick dismissals further dented Afghanistan's innings, reducing them to 99 for 6 in the 15th over.

Despite Mohammad Nabi's valiant effort with 47 off 27 balls, wickets continued to tumble. Naseer's crucial wickets, including that of Qais Ahmad, and Jawadullah's double dismissal left Afghanistan needing an improbable 20 runs off the last over. Nabi managed only eight runs before falling on the fifth ball as Afghanistan were bowled out for 155. Naseer's exceptional bowling performance earned him the Player of the Match award.

This victory marked UAE's third win in T20Is against Afghanistan in 11 attempts, showcasing a complete all-round performance. The series now hangs in the balance as the teams head to the third and final T20I in Sharjah on January 2. Cricket enthusiasts can expect an exciting conclusion to this closely contested series.