Manjula Guruge celebrated his return to first class cricket after more than 12 years with a wicket on his debut for the UAE against the Netherlands today.
The 31-year-old Sri Lankan born former Singha Sports Club left-arm medium pacer made an early break through when he had Steven de Bruin (8) caught behind by Amjad Ali when the score was on 20 on the rain-interrupted opening day of the ICC Intercontinental clash at the Sportpark Het Schoolsveld grounds in Deventer.
Mohammad Touqir then grabbed two wickets for the UAE to restrict the home team to 118 for three in 37.1 overs.
The Emirati off-spinner had their Australian born captain Michael Swart trapped lbw for 33 to end a 64-run stand for the second wicket, and then had the opener Wesley Barresi, who top scored with 52, caught by Ahmed Raza with the score at 105.
"There was no help whatsoever for the bowlers on this pitch," said Guruge, who returned with one for 25 from his 10 overs.
"It is a very placid pitch with a fast outfield and we did pretty well on the first day. I think their opener [Barresi] batted very well for his half century. But if we can get the Netherlands all out for under 250 and provided we get three full days of play we can still push for a result."
According to Mohammed Sadiq, the UAE team manager, there has not been much cricket played in the Netherlands for almost two weeks because of the inclement weather.
"The game started on time but it became cloudy and dark after the lunch break, and play was possible only for just over seven overs when the rains came down," he said.
"It is cold and wet here but our bowlers did pretty well on the first day. We would be looking to get the remaining seven wickets for about 100 runs."
Touqir was the pick of the bowlers and finished with figures of two for 29 from eight overs.
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