The UAE head into their World Cup opener against Zimbabwe on Thursday on the back of two defeats, after they slipped to a 14-run loss against Afghanistan in their final warm up.
Quite what benefit either side will have got playing each other so soon after playing a four-match series in Dubai, and as regularly rivals in Asia competitions, is unclear.
This time they had swapped the ICC Academy Oval at Dubai Sports City for the Junction Oval, which is not one of the World Cup venues, in Melbourne.
The result was also different to what has gone before. The UAE have a formidable record against the Afghans, and won the series last year 3-1.
However, they fell short this time after falling short in the chase of 308.
If the fixture was a pointer to anything, it will be the need to tighten up the death bowling.
The national team allowed Afghanistan’s ninth-wicket pair of Mirwais Ashraf and Gulbadin Naib to put on 40 off the last three overs of the innings.
In reply, the UAE had appeared to be on track when - typically - Khurram Khan was at the wicket.
The former captain made the UAE’s first one-day international century when the side’s met last year, and seemed set for another ton.
However, when he was trapped lbw by Aftab Alam for 86 from 70 balls, the chase faltered and the UAE ended 14 short.
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