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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Afghanistan tighten their grip over UAE on Day 2 of Intercontinental Cup match

Afghanistan closed their first innings on 510-9 the hosts struggled to 100-5 and face a Herculean task to avoid the follow-on

Rashid Khan, second left, grabbed three wickets as Afghanistan had UAE reeling on 100-5 in their first innings after putting up 510-9 on Day 2 of the Intercontinental Cup match in Abu Dhabi. Amith Passela for The National
Rashid Khan, second left, grabbed three wickets as Afghanistan had UAE reeling on 100-5 in their first innings after putting up 510-9 on Day 2 of the Intercontinental Cup match in Abu Dhabi. Amith Passela for The National

Rashid Khan grabbed three wickets as Afghanistan tightened their grip over the UAE on Day 2 of their Intercontinental Cup match in Abu Dhabi on Thursday.

After Afghanistan closed their first innings on 510-9 the hosts struggled to 100-5 and face a Herculean task to avoid the follow-on with two days left to play at the Zayed Cricket Stadium.

“It was a good day for me and my team,” Rashid said. “The team needed some contributions from the lower order and I managed to do that and also had a good day with the ball.

“That’s what the team needed, to put up a good total and pick up a few wickets before close of play. The wickets are slow and hard to get much turn and bounce, but I bowled wicket to wicket and had some success.”

Asghar Stanikzai, the captain, completed Afghanistan’s third century of the innings while Afsar Zazai (50 not out) and Rashid (40) chipped in with useful contributions to swell the total.

“Obviously we’ll be looking for a result from the situation we are in at the moment,” Rashid said.

“We have to be guarded against complacency, though, because tomorrow is another challenging day for us. Our plan would be to bowl them out quickly, and then see what the team want to do next.”

Rashid Khan, second left, took three wickets to leave the UAE struggling at 100-5 at close of play on Day 2 against Afghanistan in their Intercontinental Cup match at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Amith Passela for The National
Rashid Khan, second left, took three wickets to leave the UAE struggling at 100-5 at close of play on Day 2 against Afghanistan in their Intercontinental Cup match at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Thursday. Amith Passela for The National

Ahmed Raza returned with 5-148 after a marathon 53 overs and paceman Mohammed Naveed took 3-112 in 33 overs as the two most successful bowlers for the UAE.

It is not unusual for Raza to bowl long spells.

“Physically it takes a toll on your body but we have been training hard and quite used to bowling long spells,” said the lanky left arm spinner.

“I have to do that of course and it was pleasing to take wickets as well. We had to bowl on a flat wicket. We were out of the game after the first day and they took five sessions to get their runs.

“They were scoring just over three runs per over which means we were very disciplined on the field.”

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The UAE enjoyed early success when Naveed removed overnight batsman Nasir Jamal (8) in the very first over to a catch behind by Saqlain Haider.

Stanikzai, starting from his overnight 67, reached his century in style, hitting Amjad Javed for a six and a boundary before taking a single to reach his milestone.

The UAE openers coming into bat in the last session fell in successive overs. Rohan Mustafa (8) was trapped in front by Yamin Ahmadzai and Chirag Suri (15) played on to a delivery from Dawlat Zadran seven balls later to leave them at 25-2.

Rashid then had both Rameez Shahzad (3) and Mohammed Usman (21) trapped in front, and Adnan Mufti caught by Ihsanullah Janat.

Holding on to one end was the UAE’s veteran batsman Shaiman Anwar. He came at the fall of the first wicket and remained 29 not out off 88 balls.

The UAE captain Mustafa believes prolonging their inning for as long as possible would give them a slim hope of saving the game.

UAE batsman Shaiman Anwar plays a shot on Day 2. Amith Passela for The National
UAE batsman Shaiman Anwar plays a shot on Day 2. Amith Passela for The National

“After losing five wickets in one session is not the ideal position to be on Day 2 of this game but we are still not out of the game,” he said.

“Shaiman is capable of holding one end, as he showed today. Hopefully Saqlain [Haider] can stay with him and bat as long as possible, we may still be looking to bat for the next two days.”

Elsewhere in Dubai, Ireland battled back to dismiss Scotland for 141 and were 186-5 in their second innings, extending their lead to 296 heading into the third day.

Netherlands dismissed Namibia for 203 after closing their first inning at 501-8, also in Dubai, while Hong Kong were 269-8 in reply to Papua New Guinea’s 237 in Sharjah.