Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 29 January 2020

Chirag Suri says future is looking bright as youngest-ever UAE team defeats Scotland

Fifties from Suri and newcomer Basil Hameed secure seven-wicket WCL2 win in Dubai

Chirag Suri believes the future is bright after the youngest national team ever fielded by the UAE claimed a first win in the World Cup League 2.

A side including three university students and a schoolboy beat Scotland at the ICC Academy in Dubai, in the final match of a tri-series that also involved United States.

The seven-wicket win was remarkably assured, coming as it did against a side regarded as one of the best beyond the Test nations, and who beat England last year.

At just over 25, the average age of the national team is the best part of a decade younger than that which was established until a corruption crisis engulfed the game here two months ago.

Suri and Basil Hameed, another newcomer, each hit half centuries as the home team hauled in Scotland’s total of 220 with more that six overs to spare.

The new-look side had suffered two bracing defeats to United States earlier in the series, but Suri said they had not lost faith in what they were doing.

“It has not been easy for us, fielding such a side,” Suri, 24, said.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES , Dec 15– 2019 :- Basil Hameed of UAE playing a shot during the World Cup League 2 cricket match between UAE vs Scotland held at ICC academy in Dubai. UAE won the match by 7 wickets. He scored not out 63 runs in this match. ( Pawan Singh / The National ) For Sports. Story by Paul
UAE's Basil Hameed also scored a fifty against Scotland in Dubai. Pawan Singh / The National

“The results didn’t go our way in the past couple of games, but to get a result like this against Scotland, who have been bullies in the past couple of years in Associate cricket, is great.

“It is really good to see our side stepping up and showing that character.

“We have had the support, we have been backing each other, but the guys have shown amazing confidence just to go out there and back their games.

“This team can go on for the next five or 10 years. Maybe there will be a couple of changes, but this team can potentially play for the next five years, which is really exciting for us.”

Victory had appeared a distant prospect when Scotland’s openers piled on 138 for the first wicket.

The hosts were full of youthful vigour as they hit back, though.

Rohan Mustafa and Junaid Siddique took three wickets apiece, while 19-year-old leg-spinner Karthik Meiyappan played a key role in bringing about Scotland’s capitulation with two wickets.

Success was particularly sweet for Ahmed Raza, who was handed captaincy in such troubled times in October, and has been tasked with marshalling an inexperienced side.

“This is such a good feeling,” Raza said.

“We have been honest among the group about the fact there will be ups and downs in this journey.

“We are such a young team, but they have showed promise. Basil has progressed throughout the series. In the first two games he was getting out in the 30s, but today he carried his bat.

“That was very pleasing because he is batting at a very important position at number four. Basil is definitely a find.”

Updated: December 15, 2019 07:44 PM

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