Muhammad Waseem urges UAE batsmen to 'step up' after poor show against Scotland

Teams will play T20 series decider in Dubai on Thursday after Scotland secure nine-run win in second match

The UAE failed with the bat in a nine-run defeat to Scotland in the second of their three-match T20 series in Dubai on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. Photo: Emirates Cricket
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Muhammad Waseem has urged his batters to step up as the UAE look to push for a series win against Scotland in Dubai on Thursday evening.

The two sides will play a decider in their three-match T20 international series after the tourists hit back at Dubai International Stadium.

Scotland levelled the series with a nine-run win after th UAE faltered in their chase of 122 to win on Wednesday night.

The home side had been happy with their work at the halfway stage, having limited the Scots to 121 for eight.

For the second time in successive games, over the space of three nights, Junaid Siddique delivered a four-wicket haul with the ball.

Again, it started with him bowling out Ollie Hairs in the first over of the match with a fine swinging delivery.

His final figures were four for 18, following on from the four for 16 he took in the first match on Monday. Those are the seventh and fourth best figures by a UAE bowler in T20 internationals.

Where he was incisive, the UAE spinners were thrifty. Between the left-arm spin of Aayan Khan, the leg-spin of Zuhaib Zubair, and the off-spin of Basil Hameed, the hosts took two for 50 in 11 overs.

The going was tough. George Munsey hit the lone six in the match. Matt Cross, Scotland’s wicketkeeper-captain, top scored for them with 35, but it took him 38 balls to do so.

It was clear from the start that the chase would not be easy. Waseem, the UAE captain, might be one of the leading batters in the format in the world, and was fresh from a sparkling unbeaten half-century two nights earlier, but even he struggled.

He was most exposed by the left-arm swing of Bradley Currie, who had not played in the previous T20 meeting between the sides, but excelled in the 50-over match which preceded this series.

Currie induced two edges from Waseem’s bat before trapping the UAE talisman lbw for seven.

The game appeared lost for the hosts when Jack Jarvis, Gavin Main and James Dickinson then reduced them to 36 for five by the end of the ninth over.

Alishan Sharafu offered some resistance. He made 35 from 32 balls before cutting Michael Leask to George Munsey.

Although No 10 Akif Raja breathed some life into the chase at the end, as he hit his first two balls for a four and then six, it was too little too late for the UAE.

“Inshallah we will play good cricket [on Thursday] and try to win this series,” Waseem said.

“The bowlers did a fantastic job to restrict them to 121 so I am very happy with their performance.

“But I am very disappointed with the batting. We have to step up in the middle order. In the second innings the ball was doing something but not that much. We should survive easily, but we didn’t manage that.”

Updated: March 14, 2024, 3:34 AM