CP Rizwan demands improvement after another failure for UAE against Papua New Guinea

National team suffer damaging defeat as World Cup qualifying hopes take another blow

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CP Rizwan said UAE had been the architects of their own downfall after capitulating to defeat against Papua New Guinea in Cricket World Cup League 2 in Dubai.

After a 10am start to the one-day international, the national team were already beaten by a little after 2pm, having put up yet another wretched batting display.

The morning started promisingly enough, as they reached 76-2 against the side who are last-placed in the seven-team competition.

They crumbled alarmingly thereafter, though, slumping to 97 all out in just 26.2 overs. Riley Hekure took 5-13 with his medium pace, and Chad Soper, who took five when PNG prevailed by 131 runs against the UAE on Tuesday, claimed three.

PNG completed the run chase with five wickets and more than 23 overs to spare. The tourists have won just four of their 32 matches so far in League 2 – with three of those victories coming in matches against UAE in Dubai.

“From being 70 for two to 97 all out, we have to blame ourselves,” Rizwan, the UAE captain, said.

“Yes, they bowled in disciplined fashion but we could have batted a lot better. There was something in the wicket, but we could have done better. If we had got to 150 or more, you never know, given the bowling we have.

“We lacked application. We gave away our wickets, if you look at our dismissals. We had to find a way to counter what was in the wicket and play better.”

UAE have no time to dwell on the latest loss to PNG as they face Nepal on Monday.

“We can only look forward, learn from the mistakes we have made and make fewer in the coming matches,” Rizwan said.

After Monday’s tri-series finale in Dubai, the sides will head to Kathmandu for the concluding part of League 2.

With five matches remaining, each of UAE and Nepal could mathematically overtake Namibia into third place in the table, and so advance straight to the global World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

PNG are out of contention, but can still affect who finishes where with four matches of their own still to play.

“In our bowling group the message went around that we need to hit the wicket harder, and let the wicket do the work,” Assad Vala, the PNG captain, said after the win over UAE.

“It certainly helped us from the 13th or 14th over mark. Riley bowled really well and was supported by the other bowlers.

“We didn’t expect to bowl them out for 97, we just wanted to focus on our processes of bowling in good areas and challenge them more.

“In the end, everyone that comes into bowl knows what their roles are and they did them really well. I am really happy being able to captain a good bowling unit.

“We have a few days off before we play our next game on Thursday, so hopefully we can freshen up, regroup and go again.”

Updated: March 05, 2023, 12:10 PM