D’Arcy Short stars as Australia snuff out UAE with ease


Australia didn’t break much sweat in their one-off T20I against the United Arab Emirates, easing to a seven-wicket victory in Abu Dhabi.

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While for Australia it was an opportunity to fine-tune their limited-overs skills ahead of their three-match T20I series against Pakistan, for the home side it was a chance to make a mark against an international force.

Unfortunately for UAE, they couldn’t put their best foot forward. Australia restricted them to 117/6 in 20 overs after being asked to field, and then, D’Arcy Short’s 53-ball 68* helped them finish off the chase in 16.1 overs.

UAE could never quite get going after suffering early blows. They were two down without getting a run on the board within the first two overs, with Ashfaq Ahmed and captain Rohan Mustafa being dismissed by Nathan Coulter-Nile and Billy Stanlake respectively.

When Chirag Suri, having steadily scored a 20-ball 13, became Stanlake’s second victim, UAE were reduced to 17/3.

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For a while thereafter it was a matter of ensuring the slide didn’t turn into a full-blown implosion. Rameez Shahzad and Shaiman Anwar managed to do that, putting on a 53-run stand for the fourth wicket.

Shahzad was happy rotating strike and running between wickets, but Anwar was a lot more adventurous – his 44-ball 41 comprised three fours and two sixes, and had he hung around for a bit longer, UAE might have ended up with a bigger total.

As it turned out, both batsmen fell in quick succession – Shahzad (22 off 33) became Coulter-Nile’s second victim, and Anwar became Andrew Tye’s first.

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At 82/5 in the 18th over, there was a real risk of the home side being restricted to below 100, but Mohammad Naveed came in at No.7 and hammered a 13-ball 27, including two fours and as many sixes.

It boosted UAE’s total, but it was never going to be much of a threat to Australia, even after Amir Hayat, the medium-pacer, had captain Aaron Finch dismissed for a six-ball 1. The big-hitting Chris Lynn was also sent back for a 13-ball 20 as was Glenn Maxwell (18 off 16), but all the while, Short kept things steady at one end.

Short ensured the run-rate never suffered. He added 26 with Lynn, 43 with Maxwell, and soon brought up his half-century – his fourth in T20Is – off just 41 deliveries.

It didn’t take the visitors long to bring up the winning runs – the debutant Ben McDermott had that honour – with Short finishing his 53-ball knock with eight fours.

The first T20I against Pakistan will be played at the same venue on Thursday.