In the second game of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier, Play-off 2023 at the Wanderers Cricket Ground in Windhoek, United Arab Emirates (UAE) defeated Papua New Guinea (PNG) to start their campaign on high.

Put in to bat, the UAE started strongly, with opener Waseem Muhammad scoring 96 runs off 106 deliveries, including 5 fours and 6 sixes. However, the middle order stumbled with Aryan Lakra, Vritiya Aravind, and Rameez Shahzad departing cheaply.

Aayan Afzal Khan then took responsibility and bailed his team out of trouble with a scintillating unbeaten knock of 94 from 94 balls. Afzal’s knock, which featured 9 fours and 3 sixes, helped UAE reach a respectable total of 260/7 in their allotted 50 overs. For the PNG, Chad Soper was the standout bowler, taking 4 wickets for 43 runs in his quota of 10 overs.

In response, Papua New Guinea got off to a flyer with Tony Ura (56 runs off 56 deliveries), and Kiplin Doriga (73 off 71 deliveries) adding 146 runs for the opening wicket. Despite such a phenomenal start from the openers, the middle order failed to capitalise and were bundled out for 239 in 48.3 overs, falling 21 runs short of the target.

For the United Arab Emirates, Karthik Meiyappan was the pick of the bowlers, taking 4 wickets for 45 runs in his 8 overs. Zahoor Khan also chipped in with 3 wickets for 49 runs in 9.3 overs. Afzal Khan, who smashed an unbeaten 94, was adjudged the Player of the Match award.


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