In a pulsating showdown at the Dubai International Stadium, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) cricket team secured a remarkable victory by seven wickets against New Zealand, leveling the gripping three-match T20 series. UAE captain Muhammad Waseem’s exceptional performance with the bat, scoring a blazing 55 off 29 deliveries, was the centerpiece of a historic win that left cricket enthusiasts in awe.
Opting to bowl first for the second consecutive time, the UAE was tasked with chasing down a target of 143. The host’s innings started on a challenging note as opener Aryansh Sharma departed without adding to the score. However, Muhammad Waseem joined forces with Vriitya Aravind (25) to steady the ship. Waseem’s commanding knock was adorned with four boundaries and three towering sixes, propelling the UAE towards victory.
Waseem’s valiant effort came to an end when he miscued a shot off left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner, finding a fielder stationed at extra cover. Yet, his contribution had already laid a solid foundation for the chase. Asif Khan, displaying composure under pressure, sealed the triumph with an unbeaten 48 off 29 deliveries, including three boundaries in a decisive 16th over bowled by New Zealand skipper Tim Southee. This brought an end to the contest with an impressive 26 balls to spare, igniting scenes of jubilation among the UAE supporters.
For New Zealand, opener Chad Bowes and Jimmy Neesham both managed to score 21 runs, but the visitors struggled to build partnerships and establish a commanding total. Aayan Afzal Khan emerged as the game-changer for the UAE, dismantling New Zealand’s top order with a three-wicket haul, including successive deliveries to dismiss Santner and Dane Cleaver.
This electrifying victory for the UAE brought the T20 series to an exciting 1-1 deadlock. New Zealand had previously claimed a 19-run win in the series opener. The final showdown between these formidable teams is set to unfold at the same venue on Sunday, promising another thrilling encounter that cricket aficionados worldwide are eagerly anticipating.
Muhammad Waseem‘s leadership and his dynamic innings showcased his instrumental role in guiding the UAE team to their memorable triumph. His partnership with Asif Khan provided the driving force needed to secure victory and put the UAE on equal footing in the series.
Facing an early setback with the loss of Aryansh Sharma, the UAE’s innings pivoted on the dynamic collaboration between Waseem and Vriitya Aravind. Aravind’s swift innings of 25, marked by aggressive shots off New Zealand’s bowling, added to the momentum. The duo’s partnership laid the groundwork for the subsequent match-winning association between Waseem and Asif Khan.
While the New Zealand bowlers attempted to claw their way back into the game, the UAE’s batting prowess proved insurmountable. Asif Khan’s calculated approach and Basil Hameed’s support enabled the UAE to wrap up the chase well ahead of schedule.
In the first innings, New Zealand encountered challenges early on, losing key wickets within the PowerPlay. Mark Chapman’s resilient 63 off 46 deliveries propelled them to a competitive score of 142/8. The UAE’s disciplined bowling in the final overs curtailed New Zealand’s run-scoring opportunities, cementing the host’s ascendancy in the match.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 142/8 in 20 overs (Mark Chapman 63; Aayan Khan 3-20, Muhammad Jawadullah 2-16) lost to UAE 144/3 in 15.4 overs (Muhammad Waseem 55, Asif Khan 48*; Mitchell Santner 1-26) by 7 wickets
The cricketing world eagerly awaits the climactic third encounter as these two resilient teams vie for supremacy in what promises to be a thrilling series finale.