Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 20 May 2019

Dougie Brown says UAE players 'too tentative' after heavy defeat to Zimbabwe in first ODI

After being reduced to 19-3 by the end of the 10th over, the national team went on to lose by seven wickets with 26 overs to spare

Qadeer Ahmed and Sultan Ahmed leave the field after the UAE were skittled out for 110 in the first ODI against Zimbabwe in Harare. Courtesy Zimbabwe Cricket
Qadeer Ahmed and Sultan Ahmed leave the field after the UAE were skittled out for 110 in the first ODI against Zimbabwe in Harare. Courtesy Zimbabwe Cricket

Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, said his side's batsmen had suffered first-match nerves after they were soundly beaten by Zimbabwe in the opening one-day international in Harare.

The national team were fired out for a paltry 110 on a testing track at the Harare Sports Club.

The home side knocked off the runs with ease, on the back of a half-century by Craig Ervine, as a seven-wicket win gave them a 1-0 lead in the four-match series.

It was a chastening experience for the UAE, who had high expectations on their return to the scene of their greatest triumph.

In March 2018, the national team claimed arguably their finest ever result when they beat Zimbabwe by three runs in the World Cup Qualifier.

That remains the only time they have beaten a Test side in any official international match, and memories of that day meant they travelled to Zimbabwe optimistic of a repeat this time round.

However, they failed to recover from a poor start against the new-ball bowling of Tendai Chatara and Kyle Jarvis, who reduced the away side to 19-3 within 10 overs.

Chatara earned the man-of-the-match award for his figures of 3-25, while Jarvis ended with 2-11, as the tourists were bowled out with more than five overs still available to them.

Only Mohammed Boota, who made 36 batting at No 7 in the order, showed any resistance of note with the bat.

Mohammed Naveed and Qadeer Ahmed probed with the new ball at the start of the Zimbabwe reply, with the latter picking up the wicket of Solomon Mire when the score was on 21.

A stand worth 80 for the second wicket between Ervine and Regis Chakabva put an upset out of the reach of the away side, though.

“Zimbabwe won a good toss, but that is not an excuse for any part of our cricket,” Brown said.

“We still have to be good enough to find a way on difficult pitches. It was exceptionally tricky, with the ball seaming, bouncing and spinning.

“But with the first game of the series, we were a bit tentative. The batsmen were tentative, and were drawn into playing balls that, on a different day and on a different pitch, they wouldn’t get drawn into playing.

"The great thing is, we have a four-match series, with the games coming thick and fast, and we have the chance to put right what wasn’t right today."

The UAE are without a leading batsman, Rameez Shahzad, because of injury for this series, but their hosts are also without some key figures.

Hamilton Masakadza, the regular Zimbabwe captain, is absent through injury, while Brendan Taylor is still recuperating from the hamstring tear he suffered in the Pakistan Super League in the UAE.

Zimbabwe are also without Graeme Cremer, who captained them the last time the two sides met, 13 months ago.

Cremer has been unavailable since he opted to move to Dubai to live. This week, he will instead help oversee the UAE’s bid to make it to the 2020 Under 19 World Cup, via a qualifying tournament in Malaysia.

The second ODI will take place on Friday, with the UAE looking to square what is their first bilateral ODI series against a Test-playing nation.

Updated: April 10, 2019 09:48 PM

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