New Zealand had won the first T20I by a close margin of 19 runs, but the hosts UAE made a historic shock victory over the Black Caps in the 2nd T20I, defeating the visitors by 7 wickets.
Batting first, New Zealand managed a below-par total of 142. 17-year-old left-arm spinner Aayan Khan dented New Zealand with figures of 3/20. For the Kiwis, batsman Mark Chapman top-scored with 63 but none of the other batters could go past 25, leading to an under-par total.
UAE lost Aryansh Sharma in the first over, but after that, they made steady progress before big shots came from the bats of Muhammad Waseem and Asif Khan, leading to a sensational win by 7 wickets and 26 balls to spare.
This was New Zealand’s first loss in 39 matches against non-Test-playing nations across formats.
R Ashwin explains how T20 leagues helped UAE defeat New Zealand
This victory by the UAE grabbed headlines in the cricketing world and even senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin took note of this and penned down an important message for the fans.
Taking to Twitter, R Ashwin pointed out that such wins of smaller nations over bigger countries are examples of what franchise T20 leagues around the world have done. Players from associate nations get to play with the more internationally experienced cricketers of Full Member nations and get to learn from them in T20 leagues.
R Ashwin pointed out the example of Rashid Khan, how the leg-spinner helped Afghanistan become a stronger team through his experience in T20 leagues, especially in the IPL.
R Ashwin tweeted: “UAE beating New Zealand is a big achievement and it’s also showing us what franchisee cricket has succeeded in doing.
“There is hope for the next generation cricketer coming from countries that aren’t mainstream test nations and that’s good news for the game.
“When @rashidkhan_19 broke into the IPL, Afghans weren’t a feared cricketing nation at world cups but now no one can refuse that fact.
“The future may well see other nations having representations at the IPL and
turning the fortunes of the game in their respective countries.”
UAE beating New Zealand is a big achievement and it’s also showing us what franchisee cricket has succeeded in doing.
There is hope for the next generation cricketer coming from countries that aren’t mainstream test nations and that’s good news for the game.
— Ashwin 🇮🇳 (@ashwinravi99) August 20, 2023