UAE falter once again in Cricket World Cup League 2 defeat to Scotland

National team beaten by eight wickets in Dubai after they were bowled out for 132

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Lalchand Rajput might be looking in his contract to see if there is a release clause. Just two matches into his three-year deal as UAE coach, the former India batter must be wondering if this is really what he signed up for.

Certainly, there has been nothing like a new coach bounce. At the start of the new cycle of Cricket World Cup League 2, the national team have played twice, and been soundly beaten twice.

The latest loss came against a Scotland side who are the defending champions in this competition, which is a One-Day International league for the next sides outside of the Test elite. They are rightly regarded as the leading force at this level of the sport.

And yet they did not even need to get out of second gear to demolish a UAE side who seemed intent on self-destruction from the start at the Dubai International Stadium.

Just as it had been in the first game against Canada earlier in the week, pre-match optimism was dissipated almost immediately thanks to a needless run out.

Back then, it had been Tanish Suri, the teenage debutant, who floundered. The young wicketkeeper did not even get a second chance to atone.

He was whipped straight out of the side in order for Vriitya Aravind to return behind the stumps and at the top of the order.

Aravind, himself still only young but with four years worth of experience at this level, was involved in the mix-up in the second over that cost the UAE captain, Muhammad Waseem, his wicket against Scotland.

Waseem dropped his bat as he was turning for a second run, yet was still confident he could make it. Instead, he and Aravind ended at the same end, with the latter pointing to his ear suggesting he did not hear a call.

The score was 2-1 at that stage, and the capitulation felt familiarly inevitable thereafter.

In the face of some probing bowling by Scotland’s seam-bowling brothers Bradley and Scott Currie, the home team managed a mere 132 all out in 45 overs.

Aayan Khan top scored for the hosts with an unbeaten 45 off 70 balls.

Between the end of Robin Singh’s spell at the helm and the start of Rajput’s, it was the 12th time in 17 matches in this competition that the UAE have failed to reach 200.

Clearly, they could not excuse themselves by complaining about demons in the pitch. Scotland’s batters had no problems at all on the same strip.

George Munsey signalled their intention to get in done quickly by belting 37 in 26 balls, which included two reverse-swept sixes into the stands in the same Aayan over.

The rate slowed slightly after he was dismissed lbw by Basil Hameed, and yet the tourists still got the job done with eight wickets and 158 balls to spare.

To provide the exclamation mark, victory came through a six off the bat of Charlie Tear, who brought up a simple, 68-ball half-century on his ODI debut in the process.

Brandon McMullen chipped in with 39 off 44 balls before he was bowled by Aayan.

Updated: March 03, 2024, 2:35 PM