UAE had their moments but it was Bangladesh who won the first T20I of the two-match series by a small margin of seven runs. UAE needed 11 to win off the final over but Shoriful Islam picked up the remaining two wickets in consecutive deliveries to deny the hosts a memorable win.
Bangladesh were reduced to 77 for five at the end of the 11th over but an unbroken 81-run partnership between Afif Hossain and Nurul Hasan off 54 balls to take Bangladesh to 158 for five. Afif was unbeaten on 77 off 55 with seven fours and three maximums. Skipper Nurul was not out on a 25-ball-35.
In response, Chirag Suri (39 off 24) and then down the order Aayan Khan (25 off 17) gave Bangladesh a mighty scare but Shoriful held his nerve to remove the latter in the final over.
Mehidy Hasan Miraz (3/17) was the pick of the bowler for Bangladesh. Shoriful also picked up three. Mustafizur Rahman also got a couple of wickets.
The two teams will meet each other in the second and final T20I on Tuesday.