United Arab Emirates (UAE) recorded their first victory of the World T20 Qualifiers by defeating the hosts, the Netherlands, in the final over by six wickets and with two balls to spare, as they chased down 137.
Batting first, the Netherlands did not get off to the ideal start as they lost skipper Heather Siegers (11 off 10) cheaply. Sterre Kalis then played a blistering knock of 88 runs in just 68 balls, smashing the first half-century of the tournament. Together, Kalis and one-down Denise Hannema (23 off 29) built a partnership of 88 runs to help the Netherlands post a challenging 137-3 on the board.
For UAE, the two bowlers who took wickets were Subha Srinivasan (1-20) and Heena Hotchandani (2-18). The bowlers did well to restrict runs towards the back end of the Netherlands innings, ensuring the total put on the board was one their batters could chase down.
In the second innings, the Netherlands managed to dismiss UAE’s big-hitting opener, Esha Oza, for just five runs. That wicket brought Nisha Ali to the crease. Ali seemed to be seeing the ball just as well as Kallis was in the first innings, hitting a quick-fire 69 off mere 59 deliveries. Supporting her on the other end was Chaya Mughal (36 off 41) and the two put on a 110 run second wicket stand that frustrated the Dutch bowlers.
A breakthrough finally came for the Netherlands when Caroline de Fouw dismissed Ali in the 18th over. When the wicket of Mughal fell just three balls later, UAE seemed to be in trouble. They now needed 18 runs off the last two overs with two new batters at the crease. Experienced campaigner Chamani Seneviratna- who used to play for Sri Lanka before and even has a test century to her name!- held her nerve and her cameo of 14* off 6 guided her team to a six-wicket win over the hosts in a thriller of a match.
De Fouw’s three wickets slowed the UAE batters down, but they still managed to sneak over the line in the last over.