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Fifties from Malik, Akmal rescue Pakistan after Javed scare

Fifties from Malik, Akmal rescue Pakistan after Javed scare
Shoaib Malik's unbeaten 63 fetched him the man of the match award.
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 131-3 (Malik 63no) beat
United Arab Emirates 129-6 (Anwar 46) by seven wickets
Sixth match, Asia Cup, Mirpur

After a triple strike by Amjad Javed early in the innings, Shoaib Malik and Umar Akmal hit fluent fifties and shared an unbeaten 114-run partnership to rescue Pakistan and secure a seven-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates in the sixth match of the 2016 Asia Cup in Mirpur.

Earlier in the day, despite a fine bowling spell by Mohammad Amir, Shaiman Anwar hit a 42-ball knock of 46 runs to help UAE post a total of 129 for six in their quota of 20 overs.

UAE won the toss and opted to bat first. Mohammad Sami (1-28), Mohammad Amir (2-6) and Mohammad Irfan (2-30) struck once each in the first four overs to reduce UAE to 12 for three.

A 29-run stand between Usman Mushtaq (9) and Anwar (46) took UAE to 40 for three at the halfway mark.

Five balls later, Mushtaq attempted to sweep Shahid Afridi (1-24) but got a top edge which was taken at fine leg.

Anwar then struck a six and four boundaries in the next two overs to boost the score to 70 for four after 13 overs but was dismissed by Irfan, who had him caught behind.

Cameos from Javed (27 not out) and Mohammad Usman (21) resulted in a 46-run stand for the sixth wicket. Usman was felled by Amir in the penultimate over, which only resulted in four runs.

However, Mohammad Naved (10 not out) struck a six and a four in the final over to boost the total to 129 for six. Amir was the pick of the bowlers with figures of two wickets for six runs from his four overs.

After a decent start in the first over, Pakistan were rattled by a double strike in the second over from Javed (3-36). Sharjeel Khan (4) was given out lbw even as the replays showed the ball missing the stumps whereas Khurram Manzoor (0) was caught behind.

An over later, Mohammad Hafeez (11) attempted to clear covers but chipped a catch to the fielder, giving Javed his third wicket. Pakistan were 17 for three at that stage.

Malik (63 not out) and Akmal (50 not out) played with caution and steadily took Pakistan to 48 for three at the halfway mark, even as the required rate climbed over eight runs an over.

In the second half of the game, the duo steadily upped the scoring rate by hitting a couple of fours and sixes by the 15th over, bringing the equation down to 46 runs from the last five overs.

After being dropped by Mushtaq in the 16th over, Malik went on to complete a fifty with a six over midwicket.

However, the turning point of the match came in the 18th over where Akmal struck two sixes and a four off three consecutive balls and Malik also followed it up with a six, amassing 23 runs from the over.

Akmal completed his 46-ball fifty in the penultimate over and a few moments later, Malik smashed a boundary to complete a seven-wicket win for Pakistan.

The partnership between Malik and Akmal was worth 114 runs and was the highest ever fourth-wicket partnership in T20Is. Malik was awarded the man of the match.

© Cricket World 2016