Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 24 May 2019

UAE qualify for Under 19 World Cup on back of Aryan Lakra's all-round heroics

Emirates captain takes three wickets before scoring 51 not out in 10-wicket victory against Oman in Kuala Lumpur

UAE captain Aryan Lakra, in batting action against Kuwait in Kuala Lumpur earlier in the week, scored an unbeaten fifty against Oman on Thursday. Courtesy of ICC
UAE captain Aryan Lakra, in batting action against Kuwait in Kuala Lumpur earlier in the week, scored an unbeaten fifty against Oman on Thursday. Courtesy of ICC

The UAE qualified for the Under 19 World Cup after beating Oman in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.

Aryan Lakra led from the front by taking three wickets and scoring an unbeaten half-century as the national junior team beat neighbours Oman by 10 wickets at the Bayuemas Oval in the Malaysian capital.

The UAE topped their Asian Qualifier group having won all five of their matches, including against Malaysia, Nepal, Kuwait and Singapore.

Lakra began the day by losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, but it proved a good toss to lose as Oman's batsmen struggled to get going against the UAE bowling attack.

Left-arm spinner Lakra took the wickets of middle-order batsman Neev Poojari (10), and tailenders Amanpreet Sirah (10) and Sami Al Balushi (2) to finish with figures of 3-27 in his 10-over spell.

The UAE's other slow bowlers also shone on the day, with off-spinner Rishabh Mukherjee taking 3-24 and leg-spinner Palaniapan Meiyappan 2-21. Medium-pacer Akasha Tahir accounted for two wickets giving away just 13 runs. The only bowler who finished wicketless was off-spinner Mohammed Farazuddin, but his figures of 8-1-17-0 suggest he bowled a mean spell.

In the end, Oman were bowled out for a paltry 105. And as if to add insult to injury, the UAE openers completed their run chase in just 12.1 overs, with Lakra scoring 51 off 45 balls and partner Syed Haider blasting 56, including a six, from just 28 deliveries.

For his efforts, Lakra was named Man of the Match. But the bigger reward for him and his teammates will doubtless be a place in next year's World Cup, which will be held in South Africa from January 17 to February 9. It is the second time in a row the UAE have qualified for the tournament having played in the 2014 edition when it was held at home.

The five regional qualifiers from Asia, Africa, Asia Pacific, Americas and Europe will join Afghanistan, Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe at the World Cup.

Updated: April 18, 2019 08:37 PM

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