UAE skipper Khurram Khan teaches Hong Kong lesson at World Twenty20
United Arab Emirates veteran stars with bat and ball in qualifying tournament for finals to be held in Bangladesh in March
He has been a thorn in Hong Kong’s side over the years and the 42-year-old Khurram Khan once again proved what a dangerous player he is as he led the United Arab Emirates to a comfortable seven-wicket victory at the World Twenty20 qualifiers in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday.
The UAE skipper not only led the chase of 139 runs, anchoring the innings with an unbeaten 67, but also took the responsibility and decided to bowl when Hong Kong looked as if they might be taking the game by the scruff of the neck with Jamie Atkinson finding his touch for the first time in the tournament.
Atkinson, who had struggled with the bat in Hong Kong’s three wins over Italy, Uganda and Canada, came good this time and was timing the ball well when he came unstuck against the wily left-arm spin of Khurram, who got one to skid through faster and past his Hong Kong counterpart’s defence to bowl him.
Hong Kong were 95 for two with Atkinson on 42 when Khurram struck in the 13th over. The innings failed to prosper after Atkinson’s departure and the final tally of 138 for eight was well below earlier expectations.
“We didn’t finish it off well only scoring 26 runs off the last six overs. If we had 15 or 20 runs more, the scoreboard pressure might have served us better,” said disappointed Hong Kong coach Charlie Burke. “But apart from our batting, we didn’t bowl well either. We are struggling with our fifth bowler.
“We have got to learn from this loss and back it up with a good performance against Namibia in our next game.”