DUBAI // Aaqib Javed, the UAE coach, reckons a top-order batting collapse against New Zealand A was just an aberration rather than the sign of a wider malaise.
The national team lost out by 78 runs to a high-quality New Zealand second string at the ICC Academy.
Martin Guptill, the 25th best batsman in the one-day international rankings, scored a rapid 75, before Khurram Khan took three wickets to keep the tourists to 246 all out.
However, the UAE’s chase was over before it started after they fell to 21 for five against a bowling attack that boasts 580 ODI wickets between them.
“From 21 for five, 170 is not a bad effort,” said Aaqib, after Shaiman Anwar (60) and Krishna Karate (51) limited the damage for the home side.
“I wouldn’t say the bowling was really tough, and that was the reason we were in that position – it just happened.
“It was just a collapse where, unnecessarily, wickets fell.
“We are a little bit concerned with the batting. Our average score in the recent matches against Pakistan A was also 25 runs short.”
The UAE have their eyes fixed on the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand next year, where pitches are expected to be far faster and bouncier than the norm in this country.
As such, they are playing all their preparatory matches at present on the fastest wickets the groundstaff at Dubai Sports City can prepare.
As a result, Adam Milne, a 22-year-old fast-bowler, seemed to be reaching lightning pace at times.
He took three wickets, and at one point saw an edge by Karate carry for six over the wicketkeeper’s head.
“It is always good to see batsmen jumping around, but I’m not sure we will get any pitches quicker than that,” said Milne, whose side also face matches against Afghanistan and Ireland.
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