x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

UAE still wary of Afghans

The UAE cricketer Arshad Ali believes Afghanistan have proved they are the team to beat in this year's ACC Trophy.

Arshad Ali believes a potential final against the Afghans will be tough to navigate.
Arshad Ali believes a potential final against the Afghans will be tough to navigate.

KUALA LUMPUR // The UAE may be gunning for their fifth successive ACC Trophy title, but their most successful player in the competition believes Afghanistan have proved they are the team to beat. Arshad Ali, who yesterday added another half-century and man-of-the-match award to his collection as the UAE marched through to the last four, believes a potential final against the Afghans will be tough to navigate.

"We are doing well," said the former Emirates captain Arshad. "Now we have made the semi-finals, but I am telling you now, Afghanistan are are a very good team. Let's see what happens." Taj Malik Khan's Afghanistan side lost their Group A match against the defending champions, but have bounced back strongly since. They clinched their place in the semi-finals, where they are likely to play either Nepal or Hong Kong, by way of a six wicket win over Saudi Arabia at Kinrara Oval yesterday.

Mohammed Nabi, who is known primarily for his batting, earned the man-of-the-match award for his exploits with the ball. Nabi was once part of the MCC Young Cricketers scheme at Lord's, the illustrious finishing school which produced legends such as Denis Compton, Ian Botham and Mark Waugh. He continues to impress since, taking centre stage against the Saudi by taking five cheap wickets on Monday.

Noor Ali Noori blazed away in the style which has become Afghanistan's trademark for an undefeated 70 as they sealed victory over the Saudis with nearly 25 overs to spare. Elsewhere, Qatar beat Kuwait by 24 runs in a high scoring clash at the Bayuemas Oval. @Email:pradley@thenational.ae