Mark Watt takes 5-33 as Scotland inflict more misery on UAE

Spinner torments Ahmed Raza's side again as they fall to 86-run defeat in Aberdeen

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Mark Watt picked up his first one-day international five-wicket haul to send the UAE to another crushing defeat against Scotland in Aberdeen.

The left-arm spinner had already tormented the national team once on this Cricket World Cup League 2 tour, when he took four wickets in the opening fixture.

This time round he took five for 33 as the hosts thrashed the UAE by 86 runs at Mannofield.

The result meant Scotland continue to zero in on Oman, who currently hold the lead in the league, which forms part of the qualifying process for the 2023 World Cup in India.

The top three teams advance automatically to the global qualifier next year. The remaining four will be left to compete in a last-chance repechage event to try to make it there.

Given the UAE’s downturn in form, their place in the Qualifier is far from assured. The national team have suffered three consecutive defeats on tour so far.

One more, against US on Tuesday, would see the Americans leapfrog them and take third place in the table.

“Today was another opportunity to increase that gap, but we failed to do that,” said UAE captain Ahmed Raza

“We have one last chance and we want to make sure that [one-point] gap remains.”

The UAE’s bowlers started the day in fine fashion, with Kashif Daud dismissing Craig Wallace with the third ball he sent down – and a ball after being blazed for six.

Scotland beat UAE by 64 runs - in pictures

His new-ball partner Junaid Siddique was no less fiery, accounting for the other opener Kyle Coetzer shortly afterwards.

In truth, the bowling effort hardly let up thereafter. The spin battery, led by the outstanding Raza, were even more probing. Raza sent down 10 overs of left-arm spin, returning two for 39. Basil Hameed took two for 42 with his off-spin.

And yet the fact Scotland were still able to amass 254 for nine in their 50 overs told of a dismal fielding effort by the touring side.

Catches were dropped. Balls were waved through to the boundary rope. Even Vriitya Aravind, the bright young thing of UAE cricket, had an off day with the gloves.

He gave up nine byes, and most seminally missed a stumping off Matthew Cross when Scotland’s stand-in captain was on just 26. The Scotland wicketkeeper made his opposite number pay. His side were on 111 for three when the chance was passed up.

By the time Cross was successfully prised from the crease for 85, bowled by Rohan Mustafa with two balls to go in the innings, Scotland had reached 252 for eight.

That was way beyond the compass of the away side. Muhammad Waseem initially suggested it might be doable, bringing his T20 excellence to a format in which he has so far struggled.

He hit two sixes and two fours in a stunning start to the chase, but his 14-ball innings of 23 was the only brief glimmer of promise the UAE showed with the bat.

UAE v US Tri-Nations match - in pictures

Undone for the second time in the space of four days by the nous of Watt and the pace of Chris Sole, who took two wickets, they capitulated to 168 in just 41 overs.

Only Aravind, who appeared intent on righting the wrongs of the fielding effort, showed any stickability. The young gloveman made 50, which was his second half-century of the tour.

“We should look at that 20-year-old boy and see how he goes about his business,” Raza said. “We have senior players in our ranks, and it is really time to put your hand up and put a performance in for your team.

“We still have one game to go, and that is our last chance to take two points.”

Updated: August 15, 2022, 7:34 AM