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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 24 April 2019

UAE take a step closer to Under 19 cricket World Cup with huge win over Kuwait

Decision to play spinners at both ends pays off as Aryan Lakra takes 5-22 from his 10 overs in seven-wicket win

Aryan Lakra plays a high shot against Kuwait, but it was his spin bowling that did the damage against Kuwait. Courtesy ICC
Aryan Lakra plays a high shot against Kuwait, but it was his spin bowling that did the damage against Kuwait. Courtesy ICC

Aryan Lakra led from the front as the UAE took a step nearer to qualifying for the Under 19 World Cup.

The captain took five wickets with his left-arm spin as the age-group side thrashed Kuwait by seven wickets at the World Cup Qualifier in Malaysia.

It was the UAE’s third successive win in the six-team competition, which carries with it a place at the main event in South Africa next year.

If they maintain their winning run in their remaining matches, against Singapore on Tuesday and Oman on Thursday, the UAE will advance as Asian qualifier champions.

They could scarcely have been more dominant, firing out their Gulf neighbours for a mere 56 in 26 overs.

Anticipating that the pitch would favour spin, Lakra opened the bowling himself, and proceeded to take 5-22 from his 10 overs.

Mohammed Farazuddin took 3-12, and Karthik Meiyappan took 2-17, before the UAE breezed to the win with 42 overs to spare.

“It was a good day out for the boys, and another great win,” said Lakra, who was named man of the match for his effort with the ball.

“Getting a side like Kuwait out for 56 was another good job and it was a great morale-booster for the remaining two games.

“I think it was a lot down to reading the conditions well. We went and had a look at the pitch and we thought the ball was going to turn.

“That’s why we started with spinners from both ends, and it worked out really well in the end.”

The captain said his side are feeling positive ahead of the business end of the competition.

“I think the team are in a good space of mind at the moment,” Lakra said.

“We do talk about it [playing at a World Cup] sometimes, but it is not going to our heads, and we are not overconfident.”

Updated: April 15, 2019 12:01 PM

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