CP Rizwan has urged the UAE’s players to bounce back and stage a final push in the Cricket World Cup League 2, after they were thrashed by last-placed Papua New Guinea on Tuesday.
The tourists outplayed the home side from start to finish as they secured a 131-run win at Dubai International Stadium.
Tony Ura and Sese Bau each made easy-paced half-centuries as PNG amassed 262 before being bowled out with five deliveries left unused.
Karthik Meiyappan took four wickets for the UAE, and Aryan Lakra took three to mark a fine return to the side, after being added to the side in place of former vice-captain Chirag Suri.
The national team were abysmal in the chase, though, as they subsided to a mere 131 all out, with Chad Soper taking 5-25.
The defeat means the UAE’s hopes of securing third place in the league look increasingly unlikely.
They need to win six of their remaining seven matches to leapfrog Namibia into the third automatic qualifying spot for the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe in June.
They face on-song Nepal, who have won their past five matches, on Thursday, and Rizwan is hoping for a rapid turnaround.
“We have to address this, in particular the shortcomings of our batsmen,” said Rizwan, the UAE captain.
“For our bowlers also today, we missed our lengths. I felt we bowled too full for this wicket. We really have to work on that and learn from these mistakes.
“We don’t have much time. These are really important matches and the less mistakes we make, it will be crucial for us. I am sure that everyone is disappointed, every player.
“With the potential we have, we have to come back stronger, put everything aside, and focus on the task in hand in the coming matches.”
Rizwan urged his colleagues to remember the moments when they have thrived for the national team, as they bid to raise confidence ahead of the challenges that follow.
“Sometimes reminders help,” Rizwan said. “We need to go back to our best performances, take the good from that, and give ourselves the belief that we can do that again because we have done it in the past. It is a matter of doing it again and again.
“We need to take time, chat about our shortcomings, and come back strong in the crucial matches to follow.”
Soper said his side were proud of their performance as they clinched just their third win out of their 30 matches so far in the competition.
“It has been a journey for us as a team so to get that win is very, very important for us,” Soper said.
“The guys can’t hide their smiles when they are on top. When our batting clicks, we are a pretty dangerous side because I think our bowling side can unify and saves us in games.
“It was a big change of mindset overnight and I think to back it up in back-to-back games was really good, especially in different conditions.”