GEELONG: Muhammad Waseem slammed a 41-ball fifty while skipper CP Rizwan hit an unbeaten 43 off 29 deliveries to help UAE make a competitive 148/3 in their last Group A match in the first round of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup against Namibia at Kardinia Park on Thursday.
Electing to bat first, the opening pair of Waseem and wicket-keeper Vriitya Aravind put on just 39 runs in the first eight overs. Aravind struggled to accelerate after the power-play ended and got dismissed for 21 off 32 balls off left-arm spinner Bernard Scholtz.
But as soon as Rizwan joined Waseem at the crease, the acceleration for UAE arrived. Waseem brought out the boundaries against Jan Frylinck and JJ Smit while Rizwan took fours off Frylinck and Ben Shikongo.
Two balls after reaching his fifty in the 15th over of the innings, Waseem gave a simple catch to the short third man off Shikongo. But Rizwan carried on and remained unbeaten on 43, hitting three fours and a six. He was well-supported by Basil Hameed, who provided the late impetus with an unbeaten 25 off just 14 deliveries.
The duo added 33 runs in the last two overs as UAE reached a total that would give them something to defend. Namibia now need to successfully chase down the total to qualify for the Super 12 stage of the tournament.
Brief scores: UAE 148/3 in 20 overs (Muhammad Waseem 50, CP Rizwan 43 not out; Ben Shikongo 1-8, Bernard Scholtz 1-22) against Namibia