Shaiman Anwar fired a reminder about his talents with a brilliant century for UAE against Afghanistan at the ICC Academy on Thursday.
The UAE’s most experienced batsman had lost his place in the batting line up in one-day international cricket at the end of last year, but was restored to the XI for two 50-over practice matches this week.
In the first match, he struck an unbeaten half-century to guide the national team to a four-wicket win at The Sevens, Dubai, on Tuesday.
Two days later, he played a fine hand in making 101 against a side who will play a first ever Test match, against India in Bangalore, later this year.
It was in a losing cause, however, as the national team fell to a 19-run loss to the Afghans, who are preparing for a limited-overs series against Zimbabwe in Sharjah later this month.
Rahmat Shah scored a century, and Mohammed Nabi, fresh from starring in the Big Bash League in Australia, made 66 not out as Afghanistan made 296 from their 50 overs.
Despite 52 from Mohammed Usman, as well as Shaiman’s heroics, the national team fell short in the run-chase.
Ireland will be able to reflect on a productive 11 days in the UAE when they board a flight back home on Friday morning.
They clinched the tri-nations series with two matches still to be played, having won all four of their matches, against Scotland and UAE.
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While Afghanistan and the UAE were playing on the smaller of the ICC Academy ovals on Thursday, Ireland were beating Scotland by 24 runs on the adjacent field.
The series was only organised at late notice to give each of the three teams some valuable match-practice before the bigger challenges ahead.
Scotland and Ireland will each be bidding to claim one of the two places on offer at the 2019 World Cup, when they play at the qualifier in Zimbabwe in March.
“It was very important for us,” Graham Ford, the Ireland coach, said.
“[In recent months] we have spent time in indoor nets, that is all we can really do, and it has been cold and very different to what we are going to get in Zimbabwe.
“To get out here, into the sunshine, and a little bit of heat as well, has been really good. Fortunately, the lads have used their time well.
“Quite a number of them have found good form, and there has been opportunities to do a lot of good work in the nets. We have got as much as we possibly could have out of it.”
The UAE, who play in the World Cricket League Division Two in Namibia next month, will face Scotland in the next match of the ODI series, at the ICC Academy on Sunday.
UAE v Afghanistan, 50 over series
Jan 16, UAE won by four wickets
Jan 18, Ireland won by 19 runs
Tri-nations one-day international series
Jan 11, Ireland beat UAE by four wickets
Jan 13, Ireland beat UAE by 67 runs
Jan 16, Ireland beat Scotland by 6 wickets
Jan 18, Ireland beat Scotland by 24 runs
1 Ireland 4 4 0 8
2 UAE 2 0 2 0
3 Scotland 2 0 2 0
ICC Academy, Dubai, 9.30am starts. Admission is free
Sunday, UAE v Scotland
Tuesday, UAE v Scotland