ABU DHABI // The UAE will be looking to restore confidence when they meet the United States today, after what captain Khurram Khan called “a complete failure” against Italy.
In a game that demonstrated the unpredictable nature of Twenty20 cricket, the hosts were surprised by their European opponents in their penultimate group match of the World Twenty20 qualifier.
Italy won by 67 runs after bowling the UAE out for 91 in 16.2 overs at the Abu Dhabi Cricket Council’s Oval-2.
Khurram ruled out complacency as the reason for the team’s poor performance.
“We did everything wrong in this game,” he said. “It is one of those games we want to take out of our system as quickly as possible.
“It was complete failure. We didn’t bowl well and the fielding wasn’t sharp enough, and in the end, the batting let us down. It was very hard to come back after losing four wickets in the circle in the first six overs.”
Damian Crawley hit 59 off 48 balls while Peter Petricola (38 off 34) and Carl Sandri (30 off 20) contributed with useful scores for Italy, who posted 158 for five after they were put in to bat first in overcast conditions.
Manjula Guruge (4-0-45-1), the left-arm medium pacer, and Nasir Aziz (3-0-35-0), the off-spinner who was cleared by the ICC for a suspect action reported after the first game against Uganda, were hit for 80 runs combined from their seven overs.
The UAE in reply were left reeling at 14 for four in four overs from which they never recovered.
Gayanshan Munasinghe did most of the damage, claiming the first three wickets and Crawley held on to a catch off his own bowling to remove Khurram for six.
Mohammed Azam (0) was the first to depart when he top-edged the Sri Lankan medium pacer in the first over. Amjad Javed, sent up the order, miscued one a drive and Shaiman Anwar hit one down the throat of the mid-off fielder.
“We came prepared for this game with an obvious win in our minds. We had discussed in the team meeting that in the T20 format we can’t take any opponent for granted,” Khurram said.
“But we shouldn’t take anything away from Italy’s win. They batted superbly and for the first time in six games our main bowlers went for lot of runs. It was a complete disaster for us in this game.
“One game can’t make us a bad team. We will learn from the mistakes in this match and come back as a different team tomorrow.”
It was the UAE’s second defeat after they went down narrowly to Ireland but they are on eight points in third in the group, with a game in hand, and well within advancing as one of the top six teams from the two groups to the play-off round.
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