|World Cricket League Division 2: Dubai, April 2011|
Two out of two for UAE in WCL Division 2
Despite not batting its full 50-overs against Papua New Guinea, United Arab Emirates continues to prove itself to be a force to be reckoned with in this tournament securing its second win of the event. Swapnil Patil and Arshad Ali set the pace for the team but Papua New Guinea’s steady bowling provided little opportunity for the batsmen.
But the arrival of Shaiman Anwar at the crease proved worthwhile for the UAE when the 32-year-old smashed his way to 123 runs in an innings that featured 13 boundaries and five sixes. Despite a good day with the bat yesterday, UAE captain Khurram Khan departed for a duck and Amjad Ali toiled for his 41 runs before being caught Jack Vare.
Mahuru Dai continued to impress with the ball, with the 26-year-old medium pacer taking a respectable 4-56 but strong running between the wickets by the UAE side saw the Papua New Guinea bowling attack struggle to contain the run-making locals.
In reply, Papua New Guinea’s Chris Amini started the side off well after the departure of Tony Ura for just seven runs, but tight bowling by the UAE attack saw the side slip to 5-68 in the 20th over and despite a spirited fight-back from the Papua New Guinea lower order duo Andrew McIntosh and Hitolo Areni, Rarura Dikana’s men just could reach the target.
UAE coach Kabir Khan said: “Yesterday we faced a top team in Namibia, a side who play well in every competition – however we didn’t expect it to be as hard as it was against them. Today it as Papua New Guinea - who are newcomers. They did succeed in putting pressure on our team, however I think in this case it’s clear that experience prevailed.”
“Anwar is a very reliable batsman. When I joined as coach there were a few key players in my mind that I wanted in the side and he has always been one of them.
“My job is to reduce pressure on Khurram Khan and Saqib Ali, by surrounding them with quality batsmen. Yesterday I was very proud of the team - no one gave up or gave in and they fought to the very end. Both Khurram and Saqib are well known in this division and I know they always deliver – today they didn’t when they both departed for ducks – but Anwar pulled through.
“We want to be sure of our position in this division and have tried not to make too many bold moves. Soon though we shall have some good youngsters coming into the side – we hope they will make a good impression as we try to blend the players,” added Kabir.
Looking ahead to Monday’s fixture against Hong Kong, Kabir admitted the Hong Kong side were not to be taken lightly.
“We’ve played against them a few occasions prior to this tournament, and they are a very good side. They have lots of young players and they’ve taken a chance on them. They’ve displayed that they have quality and depth after beating Uganda yesterday.
“To beat them is essential- as we are the only team with two wins, however we take nothing for granted. They are a tough opposition, and have a good mix of both experienced and young players. They are here to prove that they are good enough to be in this division, and that’s the message they are trying to give us. But in 50-over cricket it’s all down to whoever performs better on the day,” said the UAE coach.