Bowlers, Usman help UAE complete series sweep

ICC, April 14th, 2017

United Arab Emirates completed a clean sweep of Papua New Guinea in the three-match Twenty20 International series, beating the visiting side by five wickets in the final match in Abu Dhabi on Friday (April 14).

After winning the second game, played earlier in the day at the same venue – Sheikh Zayed Stadium – UAE contained PNG to a modest 128, and then hunted the target down in 19.1 overs, with Muhammad Usman scoring a half-century to rescue his team from early trouble.

Norman Vanua and Chad Soper reduced the home side to 6 for 3, before Usman revived the innings in association with Rameez Shahzad. The two put up 100 runs for the fourth wicket before Usman became Vanua’s third victim after putting up a match-winning 49-ball 58. Shahzad's run-a-ball 47 was enough to see UAE over the line after that.

Earlier, a strong bowling effort by UAE denied PNG the chance to build momentum even though three batsmen got starts, including Tony Ura and Lega Siaka, the openers, who took them to 54 by the eighth over. But it was a steady decline after that.

Rohan Mustafa, the off-spinner who delivered the crucial opening breakthrough, was the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 27 from four overs. Mohammad Naveed, Ahmed Raza and Zahoor Khan all picked a wicket apiece.

Mahuru Dai's 24 kept PNG's innings afloat even as the bowlers kept chipping away, but 128 proved too little in the end, especially after UAE had scored 180 for 3 to win the second T20I.