UAE hope to ‘raise the level’ for ODI-status match with Hong Kong

Lapses in all departments of the game is a concern for Aaqib Javed's men as they take on fellow strugglers Hong Kong in Kuala Lumpur today.
Coach Aaqib Javed will have to step in hard and quick to stem the rot for the UAE cricketers. Satish Kumar / The National
Coach Aaqib Javed will have to step in hard and quick to stem the rot for the UAE cricketers. Satish Kumar / The National

The UAE and Hong Kong will be seeking a first win of the tournament in the Asian Cricket Council Premier League when they meet at the Kinrara Oval in Kuala Lumpur today.

The chances of either side winning the tournament from this position are extremely slim, but this game has the added spice of holding one-day international status.

“There are no excuses for the losses but to continue to work on the areas we need to improve,” said the UAE coach, Aaqib Javed, after the team’s defeats to Nepal and Afghanistan.

“The batting hasn’t clicked for us, apart from a couple of good knocks in the two games from two different batsmen. We experimented with the bowling and it fell below the required level.

“Hopefully we can regroup and raise the level all-round against Hong Kong.

“The first two games have been disappointing but we still need to keep our focus and carry on with our work in the remaining games.”

The only notable batting success in the two games were Swapnil Patil’s 76 in UAE’s total of 191 against Nepal and 98 from the opener Amjad Ali in a score of 232 against Afghanistan.

The UAE had Afghanistan in trouble at 124 for four in the 30th over, but they were made to pay a heavy price for having dropped their captain Mohammed Nabi when he was on 16.

Nabi scored 77 off 57 balls and, in the company of Samiullah Shenwari (82 not out off 68), shared a 125-run stand off 99 balls for the fifth wicket.

“Fielding has been the area where we have suffered most,” Aaqib said. “We have been trying to improve in this department but it is very hard when you have players arriving for training after a hard day’s work.”

Hong Kong have not fared better. Having gone down to the tournament favourites Afghanistan in the opener they were caught off guard by Oman, losing by nine runs in a low-scoring game.

Oman have been the surprise package with two victories in the six-team competition and they meet another unbeaten side Nepal today while Afghanistan face Malaysia in the other game.

Follow us on Twitter at @SprtNationalUAE

Published: May 3, 2014 04:00 AM


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