New-look UAE fall to T20 series defeat against Bangladesh

Home captain CP Rizwan hits unbeaten half century but cannot stop team falling to 32-run loss in Dubai

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The new-look UAE side continue to be dealt stern lessons, as they subsided to a series defeat against Bangladesh at Dubai International Stadium.

The 32-run loss in the second game was their fourth defeat in the five T20 internationals they have played since the start of their ultimately doomed Asia Cup qualifying campaign last month. Their sole win in that time has come against lowly-ranked Singapore.

The slump in form marks a stark contrast to what went before it. The national team won eight matches out of 10 as they sealed qualification for the T20 World Cup in fine style back in February.

The changed times have been personified by the sight of Ahmed Raza, the former captain, ferrying drinks to his erstwhile colleagues in the past four games. His fellow stalwart, Rohan Mustafa, is now out of the squad altogether.

In their stead are a collection of new prospects with much cramming to do if they are to be successful when they play the first round of the T20 World Cup in Australia next month.

And yet, despite giving up years of experience to their celebrated rivals, it was the new recruits who glimmered brightest in defeat.

Aayan Afzal Khan, the 16-year-old whizz-kid from Sharjah, took two more wickets, a couple of days after making his debut for the senior national team.

He doubled up with another of the bright young things of the game in the Emirates for both. Karthik Meiyappan, 21, took catches to bring Aayan each of his dismissals – the second of which was a brilliant effort tumbling forward in the outfield to get rid of Afif Hossain.

Leg-spinner Meiyappan impressed with the ball, himself, with 1-29 from his four overs.

The pick of the UAE attack was the player to whom Meiyappan was understudy as captain in Under 19s cricket until recently.

Opening the bowling in just his third T20 international, Aryan Lakra, 20, took the wicket of Sabbir Rahman and went for just 14 from the three overs he sent down.

Despite the pluckiness of the young UAE bowlers, Bangladesh amassed 169-5 from their 20 overs. Opener Mehidy Hasan Miraz top scored with 46 from 37 balls.

The home side’s challenge was as good as over at the turn of the powerplay, when they lost three wickets for two runs to sink to 29 for four. Mosaddek Hossain removed Lakra and Vriitya Aravind in successive balls in the sixth over.

At least captain CP Rizwan and Basil Hameed offered some resistance. The two Keralite batters shared an alliance worth 90 for the fifth.

Rizwan hit two sixes and two fours in his unbeaten 51, but he was unable to stave off the inevitable as the hosts were limited to 137-5 from their 20 overs.

The UAE face practice matches against West Indies, in St Kilda, and Scotland, at the MCG, before their T20 World Cup challenge gets under way in Geelong on October 16.

Updated: September 27, 2022, 6:03 PM
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