Scores in brief: Ireland 134 for 8 in 20 overs (Niall O’Brien 38, Max Sorenson 26, Kevin O’Brien 23, Amjad Javed 3-41) bt UAE 100 all out in 19.2 overs (Shaiman Anwar 24, Kevin O’Brien 3-14, Boyd Rankin 2-16, Tim Murtagh 2-20, Craig Young 2-26).
ABU DHABI // Aaqib Javed voiced his frustration after another batting collapse left the UAE suffer a 34-run defeat to Ireland in the first of the two Twenty20 friendlies at Zayed Cricket stadium on Sunday.
“It is so depressing to sit and watch the batsmen fail time and again,” said the UAE coach.
“They are the best players available in the T20 format but still they come short every time they are provided with the opportunity. I can’t understand what’s wrong with them but they don’t seem to be good enough at this level.”
The UAE were skittled out for 100 after Ireland – sent in to bat first – recovered from a precarious 19 for four inside five overs to put up a respectable 134 for eight.
“We played good cricket in the first 18 overs but they scored 30-plus runs in the last two overs to make our task tougher,” said Aaqib.
“We bowled two bad overs towards the end. It could have been different had we conceded only half of those runs. However, it was the batting that let us down again.
“Here we had an opportunity but failed to capitalise on the early advantage we enjoyed. You don’t get another chance like this against a team like Ireland. I thought we missed out on an opportunity today.”
The O’Brien brothers Kevin (23) and Niall (38) led Ireland’s recovery with a 55-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Max Sorensen’s 15-ball 26, and some good contributions from Boyd Rankin (16) and Tim Murtagh (12) provided Ireland a late surge to lift their total to some respectability.
Amjad Javed, 35, the veteran all-rounder has been handed the captaincy from Ahmed Raza, who led the team in the four-day and 50 over-a-side formats in recent times.
“Nowadays it’s not easy to have a captain in all three formats,” said Aaqib. “It is better to share the responsibilities. I felt Amjad (Javed) will be more effective in the T20 because he can lead by example,” said Aaqib, when asked about the change in the captaincy.
The UAE will play Ireland in the second game at the same venue on Tuesday before they travel to Bangladesh for the Asia Cup qualifiers starting on Friday with their first game against Afghanistan.
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