UAE defeated Afghanistan by 11 runs in the second Twenty20 International to level the three-match series at one wicket. Quick fifties from openers Muhammad Waseem and Aryan Lakra were supported by four-wicket hauls from Muhammad Jawadullah and Ali Naseer.

The UAE team put on an excellent all-around performance, winning their third Twenty20 International match against Afghanistan in as many tries. Waseem and Lakra, who batted first, put on 72 for the opening stand in 8.3 overs. With four fours and three sixes in his 53 off 32 balls, Captain Waseem was the aggressor in the stand.

But in order to halt the UAE’s advancement, Qais Ahmad quickly struck again, eliminating Waseem and Vriitya Aravind. After being dominated for the opening ten overs of the innings, Lakra took control, but the UAE continued to lose wickets at the other end. Before No. 9, they were unable to establish any significant middle order partnerships. The innings ended on a high note thanks to Akif Raja and Lakra.

Together, they scored an eighth-wicket partnership of 39 unbeaten off of just 19 balls, leading UAE to 166. Lakra scored 63 off 47 balls, including three fours and four sixes, without being out.

Afghanistan quickly raced to 47 for 0 in five overs thanks to the early starts of openers Hazratullah Zazai and Rahmanullah Gurbaz, but Naseer turned the tide of the match. He removed Gurbaz with the first ball he faced, and he continued to strike in his next two overs, dismissing Ibrahim Zadran and Zazai. Then Jawadullah entered the fray, dismissing Darwish Rasooli and Najibullah Zadran in three balls as Afghanistan fell to 99 for 6 in the fifteenth over, requiring 65 from thirty balls.

Mohammad Nabi gave the United Arab Emirates a scare when he blasted 47 off 27 balls with five fours and two sixes, but wickets kept falling all around him. After Naseer came back to dismiss Qais, Jawadullah signaled the end by getting Noor Ahmad and Naveen-ul-Haq off consecutive balls.

Nabi was on strike to give Afghanistan the 20 runs they needed in the last over. But before giving up on the fifth ball, he could only muster eight runs off of four balls, which allowed Afghanistan to be bowled out for 155. Naseer won Player of the Match for his 4 for 24 performance. The third and last Twenty20 International takes place in Sharjah on January 2.


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