Plenty of positives in UAE’s runner-up finish in ACC Premier League

Youngsters help beat Oman for third successive win leaving coach Aaqib Javed happy about the 'process' for the 2015 World Cup preparations.
Mohammed Shahzad helped anchor the UAE batting in a low-scoring game when they struggled with moisture on the wicket. Courtesy Peter Lim / ACC
Mohammed Shahzad helped anchor the UAE batting in a low-scoring game when they struggled with moisture on the wicket. Courtesy Peter Lim / ACC

Aaqib Javed is counting the positives after the UAE ended their campaign in the Asian Cricket Council Premier League with a win to finish second on the table behind Afghanistan.

After a disappointing start – losing the first two games to Nepal and Afghanistan – the UAE finished the six-team event in a flourish, winning the last three games.

They were shot out for 162 against Oman but their bowlers hit back to dismiss their Gulf neighbours for 105 to register a resounding 57-run win in the last game yesterday in Kuala Lumpur. The medium pacers Kamran Shazad and Mohammed Naveed took five wickets between them, and the left-arm spinner, Fayyaz Ahmed, took three for 14 from five overs to get them over the line.

Aaqib was impressed with the performances of debutants Mohammed Shahzad and Krishnachandran Karate.

“To find two new player prospects for the national team, and with Amjad Ali and Fayyaz rediscovering their batting and bowling, respectively, is a positive we can take,” Aaqib said.

“If you find a couple of good players in a tour is a good achievement. We have the World Cup coming up next year and we are following a process to prepare for it. We can take a lot of positives from these three games.”

Aaqib said some factors beyond their control were paramount in some of the results.

“The toss had a real impact in almost every game,’ he said. “Batting first was very difficult because of the moisture in the wicket.

“We had a tough time whenever we batted first. The conditions were really challenging, particularly when we were put in to bat first.

“There was a lot of moisture in the wickets and the ball did a lot in the first two hours, with the ball seaming prodigiously and even turning sharply for the spinners.

“That’s what happened in the first game against Nepal and today’s match against Oman, which we had to dig deep to win. When you get into this situation it was really hard to get out.”

Shahzad’s 74-ball fifty was highlighted by eight boundaries. He shared a couple of useful partnerships, 41 for the first wicket off 43 balls with Amjad (20) and 47 for the fourth wicket with Karate (25).

Afghanistan won their final game against Nepal by 108 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method to head the table with four wins.

Hong Kong got their first points by defeating Malaysia and finished above them on a better run rate after both teams finished on two points.

apassela@thenational.ae

Follow us on Twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Published: May 7, 2014 04:00 AM

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