x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 23 January 2018

Captain confident battling UAE can pull off an upset

Khurram Khan has not given up hope of the UAE completing a remarkable comeback to win the Intercontinental Shield.

DUBAI // Khurram Khan has not given up hope of the UAE completing a remarkable comeback to win the Intercontinental Shield.

The UAE will resume this morning in Dubai on 200 for five in their second innings against Namibia, needing another 41 runs just to make their opponents bat again.

But Khan, the UAE captain, is convinced if they can start well today they are capable of setting Namibia a difficult score to chase down.

"For the first hour and a half, the ball seams a lot," he said of the pitch. "But then it gets flatter. If we can survive 90 minutes, we can concentrate on scoring.

"We have five wickets and we hope to stretch them as much as possible. I think 200 on the last day would be a really good total."

An excellent display with the ball in the morning yesterday kept the UAE in the hunt.

Namibia, who had been replying to the UAE's modest first innings score of 79, began the day on 267 for three, but were bowled out for 320.

Arshad Ali, the off-spinner, was the pick of the bowling with figures of three for 46 and he said: "I enjoyed my spell.

"The pitch was a little helpful as the ball was skidding a bit. So I bowled a little straight. It was good to take some wickets."

The UAE started well in reply, making it to 98 without loss, before a flurry of wickets put them on the backfoot at 116 for four.

But solid batting from Saqib Ali (42 not out) and Swapnil Patil (35 not out) saw them through to the close.

Namibia, however, are confident that they are close to victory, according to Craig Williams, their captain.

"I don't want to put the mockers on us, and I think they've done well to play themselves back into the match today. We saw their tail bat yesterday and there was nobody there who could stand up for long."

Meanwhile, Scotland will resume on 64 for six in their second innings against Afghanistan in the Intercontinental Cup final today, which is also being played in Dubai.

The Scots lead by 105 runs with just four wickets remaining after the Afghans staged a fightback. They had trailed by 41 runs after being dismissed for 171 in their first innings, but Samiullah Shenwari took three for 15 as they forced a Scottish collapse from 41 for one to 55 for five.