KRUGERSDORP // The symbolic hoisting of the UAE flag at the Stan Friedman Oval here yesterday coincided with the national team resuscitating their World Cup hopes. The table-topping Canadians asserted early control over the Emirates. The UAE team then ran their flag up the mast in front of the pavilion, and simultaneously the game changed in their favour. The canny spinners, Khurram Khan, Saqib Ali and Fayyaz Ahmed immediately combined to fire out the Canadians for 194.
They then overhauled the target in style, as Sameer Nayyak, with one run needed and 113 balls to do it in, hoisted the ball into the next field to seal a five-wicket win. "The UAE flag had been down until the moment the spinners came on," said the side's head coach Colin Wells. "That went up and their fortunes seemed to change." Their heroic performance against a Canada side who were riding high at the top of the Super Eight table means the UAE now face a one-off decider against Scotland tomorrow. Win and they could be playing at the World Cup on the subcontinent in two years' time.
It was an amazing reversal after their listless display last time out against Ireland, and Wells saluted the character his side had shown to come back. "The boys have bounced back very well," he said. "In the past two games [defeats against Namibia and Ireland] we have been outplayed in most departments - all departments against Ireland. We outplayed Canada today - we batted better, fielded better and bowled better."