UAE beat Scotland to earn Lalchand Rajput first win as coach

Junaid Siddique takes 4-14 while captain Muhammad Waseem cracks unbeaten 68 to secure eight-wicket victory in T20 series opener at Dubai International Stadium

Muhammad Waseem hit 68 off 43 balls for the UAE against Scotland in the T20 series opener Dubai on March 11, 2024. Emirates Cricket
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Junaid Siddique and Muhammad Waseem combined to deliver a first victory for Lalchand Rajput as UAE coach as the national team returned to winning ways against Scotland.

Rajput had suffered a tricky start to his spell in charge with three one-day international losses in the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series involving Scotland and Canada last week.

The national team immediately looked a far more confident outfit upon switching to T20 cricket, though.

Siddique took a wicket off the second ball of the match, and proceeded to take 4-14 as the tourists were restricted to 147-8 in their 20 overs.

Only one player has managed five wickets in a T20I for the UAE so far. Ahmed Raza did so in helping guide the UAE to the T20 World Cup in Australia, as they beat Nepal in Muscat in 2022.

Siddique had a whole over in which to try to get a fifth, but could not quite match the feat of the side’s current assistant coach.

“We played ODI games against them so I knew what kind of wicket we have and I was just trying to do simple things,” Siddique said.

“We have a new combination in ODIs, but we know T20Is well. Hopefully we can do better in the future.

“I wasn’t thinking about five wickets, I was just trying to bowl to my strengths and bowl length balls. If they want to hit, I would get a wicket.”

iddique’s effort was enough to earn him the player of the match award, even though Waseem again showed his prowess with the bat in the run chase.

The UAE captain hit an unbeaten 68 in 43 balls as the home team chased the win with eight wickets and 14 balls to spare.

“It was a top-class spell from Junaid and I am very happy he is back doing well,” Waseem said. “In the past couple of games he wasn’t in rhythm but now he is back.”

While Waseem’s ability is well known, the outing provided a glimpse of the potential of his new young opening partner.

Playing just his fourth T20I, Tanish Suri, 18, shared an 80-run partnership with his captain for the first wicket in nine overs.

“I like his technique, he is a very good batsman,” Waseem said. “I was talking to him and telling him he has to stay with me. When he got bad balls he was finding the boundary.

“It is a good start to the series and we will try to keep up this momentum in the upcoming games.”

Victory gives the UAE a 1-0 advantage at the start of the three-game series. The next match will be on Wednesday at Dubai International Stadium, starting at 7.30pm.

Updated: March 11, 2024, 8:01 PM