Hosts Kuwait celebrated a third place win over UAE by just three runs as it all came down to the very last over of the game. UAE's Ahmad Raza had one ball and four runs to win but luck fell to the hosts as Raza was dismissed on the very final ball of the game.
On what was a surprisingly chilly morning at the KOC Unity Ground, the match for third and fourth place between hosts Kuwait and the UAE was played a half hour earlier than usual, at 08:30 am.
Kuwait decided to bat in what was initially a very subdued atmosphere from both teams, performance-wise. Khalid Butt (22) injected some life into the game as his score comprised of five boundaries. Butt's attempt to pull a delivery in the fifth over went horribly wrong when there was an inside edge which saw the ball played onto his stumps.
Over the span of the next two overs Kuwait's failure to score big and the loss of two more wickets saw them at 51-3 after eight overs.
|Prashant Braggs has Azmatullah dismissed|
With the runs slowly trickling in, a solid performance from pinch-hitting Azmatullah Mohammad (5) was needed but it never came and when he did go for the boundary he was dismissed by Ahmed Raza (1-12). It came down to Captain Yasin Mughal (24*) and Hisham Mirza (23), two batsmen very capable of turning any game on its head.
|Mohammad Rashid aims for the boundary|
Although Mirza had his stumps knocked over while hitting out in the eighteenth, Mohammad Rashid (19) stepped in to smash 18 runs in last over with two fours and one six to help his team finish at 126-7 after the 20 overs.
|Arshad Ali BOWLED|
Kuwait had started fairly well dismissing openers Arshad Ali (11) and Amjad Javed (2) within the first three overs of the innings. Both the wickets were taken by Khalid Butt (2-10). The third wicket needed to be taken quickly before the two batsmen, Saqib Ali (53) and Prashant Braggs (14), settled. Both Ali and Braggs had proven in their previous matches that once they picked up speed, they were very hard to stop.
|Saqib gives another great performance|
The following seven overs the Kuwaiti bowlers appeared helpless as the pair put on a solid 42-run partnership. With the boundaries not coming as often as the batsmen wanted, they made up for it with their quick running. Braggs' impatience and need to go for big shots eventually led to his dismissal. Braggs was left stranded as wicket-keeper Jagath Roshantha scooped the bails off and soon UAE were at 70-4 after 13 overs needing eight runs an over to win.
Kuwait were soon facing the full wrath of Saqib Ali as the Captain brought to light why he was so dangerous with the bat. A masterful innings saw him lead the team to 108-5 after 18 overs, clobbering four huge sixes.
|Yasin Mughal spinning his way to victory|
The following over brought 10 runs for UAE and with 8 runs needed from the final over, Kuwaiti Captain Yasin Mughal (4-21) pulled out a stunning bowling performance. Mughal's second, fourth and last ball yielded wickets and sent the crowd wild. Had Ahmad Raza's (2) shot been a little higher, Hisham Mirza wouldn't have gotten to the ball and UAE would've won.
|Mirza takes the winning catch|
UAE may have felt they were hard done for the work they put in throughout the game but such is Twenty20 cricket. Kuwait felt sweet revenge after their group stage encounter with UAE saw them lose by three runs. This time around, it was UAE who were on the losing end.
An amazing three-wicket haul in the final over was enough for Yasin Mughal to collect the Man of the Match award.
Third and Fourth Playoff
Kuwait v UAE at KOC Unity
KUWAIT WON BY THREE RUNS
Kuwait won the toss and chose to bat
Kuwait: 126 for 7 in 20 overs
UAE: 123 for 8 in 20 overs (S. Ali 53; Y. Mughal 4-21)
Man of the Match: Yasin Mughal (Kuwait)
Filed November 2 2007