) Muhammad Waseem’s all-round effort helped the United Arab Emirates in sealing a narrow seven-run victory over Namibia in their last group stage encounter of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup here on Thursday.
The defeat knocked Namibia out of the competition and cleared the path for Netherlands to go through to the Super 12 stage.
The UAE batters played carefully in the first half of the innings as the opening pair of Waseem and Vritya Aravind put on just 39 runs in eight overs.
Aravind struggled to accelerate and got dismissed for 21 from 32 deliveries, but the UAE accelerated when Chundangapoyil Rizwan joined Waseem at the crease.
Waseem played a steady knock and was removed after scoring his fifty in the 15th over. But Rizwan carried on and remained unbeaten on 43, whereas Basil Hameed provided the late impetus to their innings, remaining unbeaten on 25 from just 14 deliveries. The duo added 33 runs in the last two overs as UAE reached a competitive total of 148/3.
Gerhard Erasmus’ men needed to get off to a good start in order to chase the target down. Instead, they fell like a pack of cards and got reduced to 69/7.
It was Basil Hameed, who triggered the collapse by dismissing Michael van Lingen (10) and Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton (1) early in the innings. He registered bowling figures of 3-0-17-2 after his superb batting effort late in the UAE innings.
The match looked pretty much over for Namibia but David Wiese lifted the spirit of his team as he played a brilliant knock and formed an important partnership with Ruben Trumpelmann.
He got his team close to a win as Namibia needed just 20 to win from the last two overs. He brought up his fifty in just 31 deliveries and looked confident to pull off the chase. Trumpelmann, who remained unbeaten on 25, also played a good supporting role.
After helping his team with a composed fifty earlier in the match, Waseem bowled a brilliant final over to power the UAE to a win.
He bowled accurate yorkers and also got Wiese out in the fourth delivery of the final over to crush the hopes of the Namibia fans. Erasmus’ men could reach 141/8 in the end as UAE bowed out of the tournament with a seven-run win.