UAE hope to improve in ICC plate competition

Captain Rohit Singh puts on a brave face after big defeat to New Zealand at Under 19 World Cup, reports Paul Radley.

SHARJAH // Rohit Singh, the UAE captain, hopes his side can salvage pride in the plate competition of the World Cup after suffering a second chastening defeat on Sunday.

The host nation have been pitched into a group with three sides from top-ranking Test nations in the Under 19 World Cup.

Sunday’s 112-run loss to New Zealand followed a similarly hefty defeat to England on opening day, and they still have to face Sri Lanka in the final pool match. They will play on in the consolation second-tier competition during the knock-out stages, and Rohit wants his side to prove their worth there.

“New Zealand and England are Test nations and we are just Associates, but still we expected more from ourselves,” said Rohit, who is in the squad for next month’s World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

“It’s been disappointing, but we have some matches to go and we are trying to remain positive and give our best. “We’ve had a tough group, with three Test-playing nations. We don’t want to be last in this tournament, and there is a plate championship, so we will try our best to do well in that.”

Moaaz Qazi, another youngster heading to Bangladesh with the senior T20 team, provided some early cheer for the UAE, with two wickets as New Zealand were 50 for three early on.

A century by the captain Robert O’Donnell repaired the damage, though, as New Zealand reached 281 for four from their 50 overs.

The UAE then subsided to 169 all out in reply, despite a half-century from Chirag Suri. “We batted too slowly and couldn’t build partnerships,” Singh said of another under-par batting display.

In Group D’s other match, Sri Lanka edged England by one wicket at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium.