UAE carried on their dominating performance to emerge the champions in the Asian Cricket Council’s Under-16 Western Region tournament being held in the UAE.
After an impressive run in the tournament that saw the hosts enter the final comfortably, UAE were the clear favourites going into the title clash at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. They lived up to that expectations but not before passing through a few anxious moments to defeat Kuwait by five wickets.
Chasing a tricky 138 to win, UAE at one stage were cruising before a couple of wickets did bother the hosts for a while.
It was a fine start from opener Ronak Sudesh P who hammered a quick 30 from just 26 deliveries supported by three boundaries and a six. But two quick wickets put UAE at 37 for two before Aryan Lakra (15, 30b, 2x4) and Shoun R (25, 32b, 4x4) steadied the ship.
But the hallmark of an innings came from Muhammad A who mixed caution with aggression to put on a fine 41 from 43 deliveries. He found the fence on two occasions and thrice over it.
Harsh Ashutosh scored a patient 35-ball 15 not out as UAE went past the target in 30 overs.
Earlier opting to bat first, Kuwait’s in form batsman Gokul Sunil Kumar again came up with a brilliant knock scoring a fine half century.
Despite losing his partners early on at the other end, he remained calm to put on a superb 50 from 79 balls consisting of three boundaries.
Jandu Hamoud chipped in with a 52-ball 28 as Kuwait achieved 137 for nine in the allotted 35 overs.
Brief scores (Final): UAE bt Kuwait by 5 wickets. Kuwait: 137/9 in 35 overs (Gokul Sunil Kumar 50, Jandu Hamoud Amanullah 28; Chathiya Dashan Huppegoda 2/19, Aryan Lakra 2/16, Yuvraj J 2/26). UAE: 138/5 in 30 overs (Ronak Sudesh P 30, Aryan Lakra 15, Shoun R 25, Muhammad A 41, Harsh Ashutosh 15; Abdul Rehman 2/22).