A brilliant century by skipper Khurram Khan (138) helped UAE thrash Papua New Guinea by 150 runs on the first day of the Super Six stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier New Zealand 2014 (CWCQ) at Hagley Oval, Christchurch, on Sunday.
In other Super Six matches played on Sunday, Kenya’s Lameck Onyango starred with a four-wicket haul to lead his side to victory over Hong Kong, while rain stopped play in the Scotland-Namibia fixture before a result could be achieved.
Khurram's knock sealed victory for the UAE and the top spot in the Super Six table ahead of PNG on net run-rate, with four points each.
After being sent in to bat, the UAE lost both its openers within four overs before the skipper scored at almost a run a ball in his knock of 138 to help his side post a competitive total of 280.
Khan smashed 17 fours and two sixes in his 145-ball innings, and is now the leading run-scorer of the tournament (413). Vikrant Shetty (35) and Swapnil Patil (29) also contributed with the bat.
Pace bowler Willie Gavera (three for 39) claimed Khan's wicket in the 44th over before snaffling the last two wickets in the penultimate over to see the UAE all out for 280.
PNG never recovered from a shaky start, reeling at five for 45 from 11.1 overs.
Charles Amini top-scored for his side with 49, but a four-wicket haul for Amjad Javed (four for 26) saw PNG dismissed well short of its target, reaching 130 in 28.3 overs.
UAE skipper and Man of the match Khan was thrilled that his team secured victory in such an important match.
"That was a very important two points because PNG came into the Super Six stage with four points and most of the other teams came with two points. This stage of the competition you just have to beat every team, and we really respect PNG, they are an awesome team and have been doing very well but our guys did a wonderful job today."
Reflecting on his own performance, Khan said: "I played better today. The last few innings I got out on 88 and 87 and 78 but I wanted to bat for all the overs and tried my best today."
PNG coach Peter Anderson remained upbeat despite the loss.
“It's kind of what we expect sometimes, we've had a bit of a roller coaster ride, guys can play fantastic cricket but that is a challenge for us, we don't have anything in between. We're learning and we've got to remain positive. It starts again on Tuesday and we are certainly not ready to go home yet," he said.
At Hagley Oval, Christchurch, South Island
UAE 280 all out in 48.3 overs (Khurram Khan 138, Vikrant Shetty 35, Swapnil Patil 29; Willie Gavera 3-39, Norman Vanua 2-41, Pipi Raho 2-56) PNG 130 all out, 28.3 overs (Charles Amini 49; Amjad Javed 4-26, Mohammad Naveed 2-13, Manjula Guruge 2-25, Kamran Shazad 2-32)
Result: UAE won by 150 runs
Man of the Match: Khurram Khan (UAE)
Follow Emirates 24|7 on Google News.