The UAE suffered a stark reality check in their penultimate outing before the Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier after they slumped to defeat against the USA in Dubai.
The fixture presented a good chance to return to winning ways after toiling to losses against Thailand and Zimbabwe earlier in the week.
Their previous opposition in the Quadrangular series at the ICC Academy had been higher ranked than the home team.
The USA, however, are 14 places below UAE, who are themselves ranked No14 in the ICC standings for women's T20 international cricket.
Even halfway through the encounter, the national team seemed well positioned for a morale-lifting win.
Vaishnave Mahesh, the 15-year-old leg-spinner, provided yet more evidence of her rich talent as she brought a bright start by the tourists to a shuddering halt. She picked up 4-12 from her four overs, one of which was a maiden.
Kavisha Kumari, returning to the bowling crease for UAE for the first time in a long time during this series, also took three wickets as USA were restricted to 104-8 from their 20 overs.
That represented a fair comeback from UAE after their opposition had been 31-0 at the start of their fifth over.
USA’s collapse was nothing on what was to follow, though. UAE had been promisingly placed in the run chase when they were 35-1 in the sixth over.
What followed was scarcely believable. They lost their next seven wickets for the addition of just two runs in the space of 19 deliveries.
Bhumika Bhadriraju took four wickets amid the carnage, but the most eye-catching feature of the collapse was the fielding of Ritu Singh, who took two fine catches and a direct hit run out.
The home team were bowled out for 79, losing the match by 25 runs.
The UAE’s next action will be a final warm-up game against Bangladesh on Friday before they take on Thailand in the first match of the Qualifier at the Zayed Cricket Stadium on Sunday.