Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Khurram Khan rescued the UAE with ball and bat in difficult conditions against Afghanistan in Dubai on Thursday.
Khurram Khan rescued the UAE with ball and bat in difficult conditions against Afghanistan in Dubai on Thursday.

Khurram Khan's all-round effort

Shortly after taking four scalps and scoring 44 runs - to guide UAE to a two-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Dubai - the flight attendant was due to fly out.

DUBAI // While some international sportsmen apparently feel aggrieved at being made to play the sport they are paid to play, others will actively deprive themselves of sleep to play their game for next to nothing.

Khurram Khan, the UAE cricket captain, probably has not heard about the Carlos Tevez saga. He has been a little busy, after all.

As a flight purser for Emirates Airline, he was due to be on the 2.45am flight from Dubai to Houston last night, a 14-hour basic shift, before you factor in the other imponderables of air travel.

Most people would prepare for such a day's work with as much sleep as possible. Khurram, though, just hoped he would be able to steal a couple of hours between almost single-handedly guiding the UAE to victory over Afghanistan, and take off.

The left-handed all-rounder has long been one of the finest players outside of the Test-match sphere, and he proved it again on Thursday.

First, he took four wickets as Afghanistan were bowled out for 174 in their Caribasia meeting at Dubai Sports City.

That target was not going to be easy on a wearing pitch, but Khurram's class told as he navigated his side through a mid-innings collapse and all the way to a two-wicket win.

"It was difficult batting in the first innings, but by the time we got to bat it was totally torn apart, and spinning from left and right," Khurram, who ended unbeaten on 44, said. "We had a very good start, but then we played some rash shots and gave away a few wickets in the middle of the innings.

"Fortunately, the run rate never got away from us and was always manageable, so we just had to play proper cricket shots and we got there."

Victory was another morale boost for the UAE ahead of the four-day Intercontinental Cup match against Afghanistan, which starts on October 5, in Sharjah.

However, they know the Afghanistan team they will face then will be much changed from this one.

While a largely inexperienced side were taking on the UAE, some of the country's leading players are in Pakistan, representing the Afghan Cheetahs in the domestic Twenty20 competition.

Much of the Afghanistan party in Dubai were more preoccupied by the action being streamed live to a laptop in the scorebox from the Cheetahs match with Faisalabad.

The UAE have also been testing the strength of their reserves in this low-key tournament, though, and Kabir Khan, the coach, was given reason for cheer in the form of Faizan Asif, a new left-handed opening batsman. He made a blistering 49 from 48 deliveries, to get the UAE reply off to a rapid start.

"I like to play my shots, but it was difficult today as the pitch was turning a lot," Asif said.

"I managed to get a good start, then Khurram batted very well to see us through at the end."


twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE and Paul Radley @PaulRadley

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 F1 driver Sebastian Vettel of Red Bull Racing is fifth in the Formula One drivers' standings, 46 points behind leader Nico Rosberg. Diego Azubel / EPA / April 20, 2014

Nothing Vettel can do about car, but Ricciardo’s superiority should be worrying

It isn't Sebastian Vettel's fault his Renault-powered Red Bull Racing car is so inferior to the Mercedes, writes Graham Caygill, but he isn't proving much by being outpaced by teammate Daniel Ricciardo.

 Paul Pierce and the Nets own a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series against Toronto. Warren Toda / EPA

‘Dinosaur’ Brooklyn Nets roaming ominously in NBA play-offs

Brooklyn's veterans found their form toward the end of the season and now pose a threat in the East, writes Jonathan Raymond.

 The Eastern Conference play-offs have provided the bigger shocks so far, such as Jeff Teague, left, and the Atlanta Hawks win over the Indiana Pacers. Steve C Mitchell / EPA

In the NBA play-offs, better play finally rises in East

It took six months and 82 games but, finally, the Eastern Conference has become interesting.

 Stanislas Wawrinka lifts the Monte Carlo Masters trophy after his triumph over Roger Federer on Sunday. Claude Paris / AP / April 20, 2014

Wawrinka on the rise after topping Federer for Monte Carlo Masters title

The Australian Open champion suggested he is not just a one-major wonder as he bounced back to beat Federer in the Monte Carlo Masters final on Sunday for his first Masters title.

 Roger Federer seemed to wear down during his Monte Carlo Masters loss to Stanislas Wawrinka in the final on April 20, 2014. Wawrinka won 4-6, 7-6, 6-2. Michael Euler / AP Photo

Federer sees positives but one negative remains

There is plenty to cheer about for Roger Federer fans, but there could be one worrying indication.

 Diego Simeone has used Atletico Madrid supporters to his player’ advantage.

Neutrals’ favourites Atletico Madrid start as underdogs against Chelsea

It has been 18 seasons since they won the Primera Liga title but 40 years since reaching the Champions League final, but they dare to dream, writes Ian Hawkey.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National