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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

UAE complete series-winning tour of Netherlands by losing rain-affected dead rubber

National team lost game by one wicket off the final ball but had already wrapped up the series.

Shaiman Anwar, pictured in action against the Netherlands last year was one of two UAE batsmen to offer some resistance. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
Shaiman Anwar, pictured in action against the Netherlands last year was one of two UAE batsmen to offer some resistance. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

The UAE suffered a soggy finish to an otherwise triumphant trip to the Netherlands, as they lost a rain-affected final match by a single wicket off the final ball of the game.

Logan van Beek, an allrounder who once played basketball for New Zealand at Under 19 World Cup level, took 6-18 as the UAE were shot out for 122 in 25.2 overs, in what had started out as a 37-over match.

Only Shaiman Anwar, the unlikely destroyer with the ball 24 hours earlier when he took four wickets, and Mohammed Usman provided any resistance of note, making 35 and 32 respectively.

When the rain returned to abbreviate the second innings, the home side eventually required a revised total of 103 from 28 overs.

They appeared set fair when Stephan Myburgh, the big-hitting Dutch opener, struck a quick-fire 47. With him at the wicket, the Dutch required just 25 with six wickets remaining.

Rohan Mustafa, the captain who has overseen a remarkable turnaround in fortunes for the national team this year, gave his side some belated hope by dismissing Myburgh.

Wickets for Amjad Javed and Zahoor Khan, as well as a direct hit run out by Adnan Mufti, compounded the effects of Myburgh’s departure.

The hosts muddled their way to victory, though, benefitting from a dropped catch in the penultimate over, as Max O’Dowd hit the winning runs off the last ball of an eventful final over from Mustafa to deprive the UAE of a series cleansweep.

The UAE will still look back on a successful week, played out in variable weather in the Netherlands that cut a stark contrast to that in which the UAE prepared.

The national team missed out on a preparatory tour to the UK because of administrative issues, and were confined to indoor net practice in Dubai because of the intense summer heat.

The Netherlands weather could not have been much more different to the UAE summer. While the third match was rain affected, the second game lost time to a hailstorm.

Mustafa said his side had enjoyed a novel experience, particularly as they were able to celebrate a 2-1 series win.

“I think we enjoyed it a lot because we have never played in those kind of conditions,” Mustafa said after the five-wicket win in match two.

“It was something different for us, but thankfully we managed to get a 50-over game in and we enjoyed it a lot, especially as we managed to win the series as well.”

The UAE’s next assignment is a trip to play Namibia in the World Cricket League in September. Namibia are seventh in the eight-team competition, while the UAE are bottom of the table.