UAE have Under 19 World Cup campaign 'taken away' after rain disrupts South Africa match

The national age-group side had reached 112 for three in 23.5 overs, before a heavy rainstorm washed out the remainder of the fixture

Storm clouds gather over the field during the UAE's Under 19 World Cup game against South Africa. Courtesy ICC
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Dom Telo, the coach of UAE Under 19s, said he felt his team had their shot at a World Cup shock against South Africa taken away from them by the weather.

The national team exited the main phase of the Under 19 World Cup after a 23-run loss to the host nation in a rain-affected group match in Bloemfontein.

Having been set 300 to win, they had reached 112 for three in 23.5 overs, before a heavy rainstorm washed out the remainder of the fixture. At that point they were 23 behind after the Duckworth Lewis Stern revision.

“We know that the two players who were in [Jonathan Figy and Kai Smith] can bat long periods of time, and if they could take the game deeper, the players coming in have a lot of power,” Telo, the South Africa-born UAE coach, said.

“We felt that if we could get a full 50 overs in, we could give it a red-hot go. All the guys are disappointed. Unfortunately, it is the weather and you can’t control it.”

Coincidentally, UAE had qualified for this event after being on the right side of similar circumstances in a rain-affected game against Nepal in Kuala Lumpur last year.

Just as they did then, the UAE felt they were in position to profit from the DLS calculations. However, this time the rain arrived quicker than they had expected.

Sanchit Sharma and Aryan Lakra, the UAE captain, each took three wickets as the host side reached 299 for eight from their 50 overs. Luke Beaufort top-scored for the home team as he made 85.

Vriitya Aravind got the UAE’s reply off to a rapid start, as he blazed 31 in just 17 balls, before he was dismissed.

Figy, who scored a century in the UAE’s opening match of the tournament, and Smith were 36 and 18 not out respectively when the rain arrived.

At that point, UAE were far enough behind the rate for it to be crucial when the weather meant there was no possibility of a resumption.

Vriitya Aravind got the UAE's reply off to a fast start with 31 in 17 balls against South Africa. Courtesy ICC

“We had a plan for where we needed to be at 30 overs,” Telo said. “We thought the weather would hold out for that period of time, and we were on track for that.

“Unfortunately the weather came in a lot quicker than we thought it would, and two overs later it all came down.

“It caught us by surprise how quickly it was coming in. The forecast said it would happen a little later, so we thought we had a bit more time. Our chance was taken away from us.”

South Africa will advance to the last eight of the Super League with the group winners Afghanistan.

UAE are out of the main tier of competition, but they will stay on in South Africa and play for placings.