Qantas Tour of the UAE T20
Aussies claim T20 win over UAE
D'Arcy Short's unbeaten 50 leads Australia home after a tight bowling performance
23 October 2018, 11:05 AM AEST
International debutant Ben McDermott blasted the winning runs but it was opener D'Arcy Short's composed and unbeaten half-century that steered Australia to a seven wicket win against the UAE in Abu Dhabi on Monday evening.
Set 118 to win their maiden clash with the 13th-ranked UAE side, Australia cruised to their target with 23 balls to spare off the back of Short's unbeaten 68.
Australia lost captain Aaron Finch early for just one as he miscued high into the air off Amir Hayat, who bowled with good pace and showed a willingness to mix it up.
Chris Lynn threatened to make short work of the target as he blazed a series of boundaries but became Hayat's second victim when he found the edge of the Brisbane Heat powerhouse's bat, with UAE wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber diving forward to take the catch.
Glenn Maxwell, on his 50th T20 international appearance and just the third man to play that many games for Australia along with Shane Watson and David Warner, made 18 from 16 balls before he was caught on the long-off rope from Imran Haider's second delivery.
That left Australia 3-75 in the 12th over and afforded McDermott, the son of former Australia fast bowler Craig, time in the middle on debut. He was off the mark first ball with a single, and although well-known for his power hitting was watchful here, farming the strike to the in-form Short.
McDermott drove through extra cover to score his first international boundary and win the match, with his Hobart Hurricanes teammate Short at the other end.
A former shipyard worker on the verge of his 40s proved to be a thorn in Australia's side as the UAE set a total of 6-117 at the Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium's Nursery Ground.
Australia endured 20 overs in the blazing 37C heat after UAE captain Rohan Mustafa won the toss, as 39-year-old Shaiman Anwar put up a spirited innings against Australia ahead of their three-match series against Pakistan.
Shaiman, who balanced working for a shipping firm while on an amateur retainer before the UAE introduced central contracts in 2016, top scored with 41.
The UAE's all-time leading run-scorer in ODIs and T20s blazed two sixes and three fours before being bowled by Andrew Tye while attempting to ramp a full-pitched delivery over the wicketkeeper's head.
Ranked No.13 in the world in T20s, the Arab nation was left 2-0 after two overs as Nathan Coulter-Nile and Billy Stanlake opened with wicket maidens.
The UAE didn't get off the mark until the 15th ball of the match, and did not manage to score a boundary until the fifth over when Chirag Suri crunched Tye through the covers for four.
But any hopes the Australians had of making a quick escape from the heat were dashed as Shaiman and Rameez Shazad (22) formed a confident partnership.
Mitch Marsh, Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle were left out from Australia's XI ahead of their opening T20 match against Pakistan on Wednesday.
Qantas T20 Tour of the UAE
Australia squad: Aaron Finch (c), Mitch Marsh (vc), Alex Carey (vc), Ashton Agar, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Chris Lynn, Nathan Lyon, Glenn Maxwell, Ben McDermott, D'Arcy Short, Peter Siddle, Billy Stanlake, Mitch Starc, Andrew Tye, Adam Zampa.
Pakistan squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez, Sahibzada Farhan, Babar Azam, Shoaib Malik, Asif Ali, Hussain Talat, Shadab Khan, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Usman Khan Shinwari, Hassan Ali, Imad Wasim, Waqas Maqsood, Faheem Ashraf
Oct 24: First T20, Abu Dhabi
Oct 26: Second T20, Dubai
Oct 28: Third T20, Dubai
*All matches against Pakistan start at 8pm local time, 3am the following day AEDT