It's been something of a monkey on the backs of the Afghanistan team so often dominant over their fellow Asian associates. In seven previous one-day matches against the UAE, they'd lost every single one.

But that losing streak has come to an end today in the first of their eight matches to be classed as an official ODI. Largely thanks to a 125 run partnership between Samiullah Shenwari and Mohammad Nabi, they recorded a 70 run win over their rivals.

Put into bat after the UAE won the toss, Afghanistan started with the opening pair of Noor Ali Zadran and Usman Ghani putting on 99 before Ghani was dismissed for 55, adding to his 70 against Hong Kong yesterday.

Zadran was the third man out five overs later having scored 53. With Rahmat Shah and Hashmatullah Shaidi both making single figure scores, Afghanistan found themselves a little on the backfoot on 124-4.

Shenwari and Nabi had other ideas though, putting on that impressive 125 run partnership for the fifth wicket before skipper Nabi was out for 77, scored from 57 balls. Shenwari finished the innings unbeaten on 82, dominating an unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 53 that came in only 4.5 overs.

The final Afghan total was 302-5, setting a formidable target for a UAE team that had never even made 250 in a full ODI before.

And whilst Amjad Ali batted superbly to make 98, just falling short of becoming the first UAE centurion in ODIs, no other UAE batsman was able to make any sort of significant contribution. Rahmat Shah was the pick of Afghanistan's bowlers, taking 5-32 as the UAE were bowled out for 232.

The days other two matches were much lower scoring affairs though. Over at the Bayuemas Oval, hosts Malaysia batted first after winning the toss against Nepal. With Anwar Arrudin the top scorer with 34, they were bowled out for just 149, 18 year old pace bowler Sompal Kami taking 5-47.

In reply, Nepal had a scare to start their innings. Subash Khakurel was dismissed in the first over with no runs on the board, and they found themselves on 36-4 in the 11th over with the reliable Paras Khadka back in the dressing room.

But Mahaboob Alam - better known for his bowling having been the only player to take all 10 wickets in an international one-day match - and Sharad Vesawkar got the innings back on track with an 89 run partnership for the fifth wicket which ended when Alam was run out for 53.

Vesawkar and Binod Bhandari then guided their team to a five wicket win that was a lot nervier than it should have been.

At the Selangor Turf Club, there was an upset as WCL4 team - and affiliate member - Oman managed to pull off a win over ODI status Hong Kong in another low scoring match.

Put into bat by Hong Kong, Oman soon found themselves on 29-4 and then 84-7 as Tanwir Afzal bowled well first up, taking 3-28. A 48 run partnership between Sultan Ahmed and Amir Ali took them well past the 100 mark.

Irfan Ahmed quickly took the last two wickets - finishing with 3-17 - as Oman were bowled out for just 143.

That target should have been no problem for a Hong Kong team that rolled over Test nation Bangladesh just six weeks ago. But they contrived to get themselves to 25-4, and then 70-7, before they very nearly pulled off a remarkable fightback.

The eighth wicket pair of Ankur Sharma and Haseeb Amjad put on 41 before Sharma was out for 30. Number 10 Nadeem Ahmed was out pretty quickly, but the last wicket pair almost managed to pull off a remarkable run chase.

They were able to score 22 before Amjad was finally out for 38 and Hong Kong had been bowled out for 134. A good fightback, but they shouldn't have got themselves in that position in the first place.

With Afghanistan, Nepal and Oman all now with two wins out of two, Afghanistan find themselves on top thanks to a superior net run rate. Tomorrow will be a day off, but action resumes on Sunday. Hong Kong will play UAE in an ODI, whilst Afghanistan will play Malaysia and Nepal will take on Oman.


Afghanistan beat UAE by 70 runs
Kinrara Academy Oval, Kuala Lumpur, 2 May
Afghanistan 302-5 (50 overs, Samiullah Shenwari 82*, Mohammad Nabi 77, Usman Ghani 55)
UAE 232 (44.3 overs, Amjad Ali 98, Rahmat Shah 5-32)

Malaysia lost to Nepal by 5 wickets
Bayuemas Oval, Kuala Lumpur, 2 May
Malaysia 149 (43 overs, Sompal Kami 5-47)
Nepal 150-5 (37.3 overs, M Alam 53, S Navaratnam 3-33)

Oman beat Hong Kong by 9 runs
Selangor Turf Club, Kuala Lumpur, 2 May
Oman 143 (45.1 overs, Sultan Ahmed 37, Irfan Ahmed 3-17, Tanwir Afzal 3-28)
Hong Kong 134 (41.1 overs, Haseeb Amjad 38, A Lalcheta 4-22, Rajesh Kumar 3-25)