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India crush UAE by 9 wickets to stay unbeaten in Asia Cup

Image Credit: Getty Images.

Image Credit: Getty Images.

Team India maintained their all-win record in this year's Asia Cup by producing yet another resounding performance to thrash minnows United Arab Emirates by nine wickets.

India thrashed United Arab Emirates by nine wickets in an inconsequential round-robin match of the Asia Cup Twenty20 tournament on Thursday.

With this win, India top the Asia Cup points table and go into the final against Bangladesh, without losing a single match.

With Thursday’s win over the UAE, the year 2016 has become India’s most successful year in T20 Internationals. This year they have won 9 matches while in years 2012 and 2007 they won 8 and 6 respectively.

Chasing just 82 runs to win, Rohit Sharma was on song from the word go in his innings of 39 from just 28 deliveries. He smashed seven boundaries and a six during his knock for which he was named Man of the Match as well. He was caught by Mohammad Naveed as third man off the bowling of Qadeer Ahmed when he went for a cut shot.

His fellow opener Shikhar Dhawan (16 not out) got a life early in the innings, when he was caught behind but despite a huge shout from UAE, the umpire did not move. Dhawan remained unbeaten but was not at all fluent.

Yuvraj Singh, who made his way to the crease after the fall of Rohit – finished with an unbeaten 25 which included four boundaries and a six. He played some breathtaking shots in his innings and made sure that India reach the target in just 10.1 overs.

Earlier, put to bowl first – Indian bowlers put up a superb display to restrict UAE to a paltry total of 81/9. Shaiman Anwar top-scored with 43 for the minnows. The UAE kept struggling from the beginning as Indian pacers Bhuvneshwar and Jasprit Bumrah kept bowling right line and length.

Bhuvneshwar (2/8), Bumrah (1/23), Hardik Pandya (1/11), Harbhajan Singh (1/11), Pawan Negi (1/16) and Yuvraj Singh (1/10) were all among the wickets. Such was Indian bowlers domination that they bowled 77 dot deliveries in 20 overs.

Bhuvneshwar was economical in his first spell and also got the wicket of Swapnil Patil (0), who was promoted as an opener. Hhe closed his bat face to an angular delivery only to find the leading edge that landed in the bowler’s hands. Bumrah picked Mohammed Shahzad (1) next, who tentatively jabbed at a rising ball which flew to Suresh Raina at second slip.

UAE managed to score jus 21 runs in the powerplay with Rohan Mustafa and Shaiman Anwar at the crease. The Indian bowlers kept up the pressure and Mustafa (11) perished trying to smash Hardik Pandya. The left-hander only managed to find Virat Kohli at cover.

India tightened the leash further by chipping away two more wickets. Debutant Negi picked up Muhammad Usman (9) while Harbhajan sent back rival captain Amjad Javed (0). Wickets fell at regular intervals for UAE with only Shaiman Anwar putting up some fight, top-scoring with 43 off 48 balls with three fours and a six.

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