CP Rizwan, the UAE captain, labelled Junaid Siddique’s bowling against West Indies “unplayable” as the seamer took five wickets in the T20 World Cup warm-up game.
The national team fell to a 17-run loss to the two-time former champions at the Junction Oval in St Kilda.
It was their first official warm-up game ahead of their first match at the main event, against the Netherlands in Geelong on Sunday.
The UAE had already had three wins against club sides – two against Geelong and one against Essendon – after arriving in Australia at the start of this month.
The step up to face the world No 7-ranked West Indies was significant, though, and captain Rizwan said he was satisfied with many aspects of his side’s performance.
The difference in pitch conditions to what they had played on so far in Australia was also vast.
The wicket in St Kilda, which is a suburb of Melbourne, offered far greater pace and bounce, and Siddique found it just to his liking.
The fast bowler took five for 13 from his four overs, as West Indies were restricted to 152 for nine from their 20 overs.
“The wicket had very good bounce compared to Geelong and our bowlers, especially Junaid, used it well,” Rizwan said.
“He was literally unplayable on that wicket. Zahoor [Khan, who took two wickets] also bowled really well, and we did well to restrict them.”
In reply, Muhammad Waseem maintained his fine form as he reached 60 for the third time in three matches on tour so far. The opener finished not out on 69, hitting three sixes and four fours in the process.
His partners at the other end struggled, though. Six players failed to make double figures, before Zawar Farid made a quick fire 29 not out.
He shared an unbroken partnership worth 53 with Waseem in a little over four overs, as UAE reached 135 for six from their 20 overs.
“Waseem played really well, had a very good partnership in the end with Zawar,” Rizwan said.
“Zawar played a really good cameo. It showed that if we had got a couple of good partnerships, the result would have been different.
“But we will take a lot of positives from this match. Playing against former T20 World Cup champions is indeed a great experience, and we will try to take the positives and move ahead.”
UAE will face familiar rivals Scotland in their second official warm-up game, at the MCG on Thursday.
Their appearance at the T20 World Cup will be the second time they have featured in the event.
They will be looking to fare better than the 2014 side in Bangladesh, who failed to make it beyond the first-round, when they play in a group with Sri Lanka, Netherlands and Namibia.