More heartbreak for UAE with eight-run defeat to Canada in Cricket World Cup League 2

National team suffer third straight loss of ODI campaign in Dubai

Powered by automated translation

The UAE’s miserable start to Cricket World Cup League 2 continued as they suffered a third straight defeat at Dubai International Stadium.

It says much about the national team’s frayed relationship with this competition that an eight-run loss to Canada represented a vast improvement on what had gone before.

And yet it was another game thrown away by the home team. This tournament – an eight-team One-Day International league that lasts for over three years – might be at its start, there is plenty of time for the UAE to come good yet, but still, they have been painfully profligate in their first week back.

Having been trounced by Canada in their first meeting last week, then by Scotland two days ago, the national team shuffled their pack again.

In a bid to find a solution to the long-term issues with their batting, out went Alishan Sharafu and Asif Khan.

The former had been one of the stars of the International League T20 tournament that preceded this event, and the latter scored the fastest ODI ton by an Associate cricketer when UAE last played a series in this competition.

In their place came something old and something new. Tanish Suri was restored to the top of the order, two games after he suffered a chastening ODI debut.

And CP Rizwan took Asif’s spot at No 4, a year after he was dumped as the team's captain during the wretched final days of Robin Singh’s spell as coach.

Each showed moments of promise as UAE started out well in their pursuit of a rain-revised target of 237 from 46 overs.

Suri shared in a breezy opening stand of 57 with captain Muhammad Waseem, before becoming the first of Dillon Heyliger’s four victims.

Rizwan also made a perky start on his return, but when he was third out with the score on 121, just over halfway through the innings, the wheels fell off the chase.

Vriitya Aravind top scored with 51, but, after he was the victim in the latest of a series of run outs in which he has been involved, the UAE failed to recover the momentum.

“I felt we could chase that,” said UAE captain Waseem.

“When Tanish and I were batting I was happy and very confident, but once again we collapsed in the middle and played some slow cricket.”

By the end, Canada – for whom Harsh Thaker scored a fine century in a total of 241-6 – were good value for the win, as they kept the home team to 228-8 in their 46 overs.

It means they are three from three in a competition they had not even been a part of during the previous cycle.

While they can continue to revel in a job well done so far, their opponents need to find answers quickly.

This is the first series in charge for their new coach, Lalchand Rajput. The former India batter is unlikely to have been impressed by what he has seen from his new charges so far, and it would not be a surprise if there are more changes next time out, when they face Scotland again.

Waseem said it is clear where his side’s issues lie.

“As I said after the last game, we have to step up as a batting team,” said Waseem, who made 42 at the top of the order in the run chase.

“We did well for the first 20-25 overs but after that we played some slow cricket.

"We are in a checking phase, giving opportunities to everyone, and I hope they will do well in the upcoming games. I hope after some games, the team will be good.”

Updated: March 05, 2024, 3:23 PM