Australia 119 for 3 (Short 68*, Hayat 2-26) beat UAE 117 for 6 (Shaiman 41, Naveed 27*, Coulter-Nile 2-20, Stanlake 2-20) by seven wickets
A change of format brought about a much-needed change in result for Australia, even though a win in their first-ever T20I against UAE was briefly in doubt in Abu Dhabi. UAE batted first and made 117, and later had Australia 32 for 2 in the sixth over. Then their inexperience showed and Australia took the game away, romping to a seven-wicket win with 23 balls remaining.
D'Arcy Short was the chief architect of the chase, finishing 68 not out when the winning runs were hit by debutant Ben McDermott, the 23-year old son of former Australia fast bowler Craig McDermott. A decent workout now sets Australia up for the three-match T20I series against Pakistan starting October 24 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
The positives for Australia stretched beyond just Short's contribution. Nathan Coulter-Nile and Billy Stanlake, two quicks who have been injury-prone lately, returned to action and impressed immediately. The two new-ball bowlers finished with identical figures of 4-1-20-2. Their early damage left UAE reeling at 17 for 3 in the sixth over, and staring at a giant mismatch.
Rameez Shahzad and Shaiman Anwar reconstructed the innings with a 53-run stand, preventing a middle-order collapse and setting up Mohammad Naveed to inject some late momentum. He hit Andrew Tye for two sixes and a four in his 13-ball 27, allowing UAE to take 45 off their last four overs. Tye finished as the most expensive Australia bowler with figures of 4-0-39-1.
Australia started watchfully, losing captain Aaron Finch in the second over to Amir Hayat. Chris Lynn made 20 before he nicked to wicketkeeper Ghulam Shabber to give Hayat his second wicket. Glenn Maxwell, who has spent more than a week in the UAE since flying in as a replacement during the Test series, scored 18 off 15 balls, falling to Imran Haider when Australia needed 43.
Short put an end to UAE's hopes, hitting eight fours in his 53-ball knock, while McDermott finished 10 not out in his maiden outing in Australia colours.