Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, is confident the national team will be ready for the important business of continuing their quest for World Cup qualification in Namibia next month, despite a 31-run defeat to Scotland in Dubai on Sunday.
It meant the UAE have lost four of the five matches they have played over the past 10 days, in fixtures against Ireland, Afghanistan and now Scotland.
Even though three of those losses have been in official one-day internationals – the two games against Afghanistan were low-profile practice matches – Brown is unconcerned.
The matches, organised at late noticed, are seen primarily as valuable preparation for the World Cricket League Division 2 in Windhoek next month.
The top two teams in that six-team event will play at the World Cup qualifier in Zimbabwe in March, a competition that will also involve each of Ireland, Afghanistan and Scotland.
The UAE have one more match, against the Scots at the ICC Academy on Tuesday, before departing for Africa.
And Brown is satisfied with his side’s development, despite losing a “gilt-edged opportunity to win a game that we had in the bag” in the ODI against Scotland.
“It is disappointing, because we should be learning from things that happened previously, but it is not a worry,” Brown said.
“We knew this month was about getting some really good cricket and evolving to the point whereby we are playing our best cricket by the time we get to Namibia, which – by a mile – is the most important cricket we have played for a long, long time. Perhaps even in the history of UAE cricket.
“This month is about learning. I think our starting point was a very good one, even if we are playing against some very tough opposition.
“We know what we have to do. If we are realistic about qualifying for Zimbabwe, and qualifying out of Zimbabwe, we need to start learning from the mistakes we are making.”
Matthew Cross scored a century to take Scotland to 249 for eight from their 50 overs, after the UAE’s bowlers had reduced them to 133 for six.
Shaiman Anwar continued his reinvention as a part-time bowler of substance by taking three wickets for the home team.
The UAE run-chase faltered after Ghulam Shabber, the wicketkeeper batsman, was run out for 90, and they subsided to 218.
“We somehow managed to lose our way at a number of different stages, and weren’t able to take that next step forward to grab the game,” Brown said.