Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 7 August 2020

UAE confident teenage batsman Vriitya Aravind will be fit despite blow to the head

Aravind hit by a bouncer during hosts' defeat to USA in World Cup League Two

UAE are confident Vriitya Aravind will be fit to play the final match of their World Cup League Two tri-series on Sunday, despite him suffering a blow to the head.

The 17-year-old schoolboy was hit by a bouncer from fast bowler Rusty Theron during the UAE’s 98-run loss to the United States at the ICC Academy on Thursday.

He was treated on the field, but passed the mandatory concussion test and opted to carry on batting.

Remarkably, the opening batsman hit the next ball he faced for a huge six over the mid-wicket boundary.

Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, was impressed by the courage shown by the young opener who is missing school in order to play in this series, which concludes when the national team play Scotland on Sunday.

“He is a young guy making his way in the game and it is a tough baptism, facing a guy who has played international cricket for South Africa, running in and bowling quite quickly," Brown said.

“For the main part, he looked very accomplished against it.

"The ball rushed him a little and hit him quite hard, but fortunately he was there to fight another day.

“On the next ball, he dusted himself down and clipped it over mid-wicket for six. There was no damage done, thankfully.”

Despite the pluckiness shown by the youngest member of their line-up, UAE capitulated against the in-form USA bowlers.

They were optimistic of their chances of a first win in this competition after bowling USA out for 213, with Darius D’Silva excelling with 2-20 in his first spell of bowling for the national team.

However, Saurabh Netravalkar again bowled his side to victory, as the home team subsided to 115 all out in 33 overs.

The left-arm seamer had taken five wickets in the opening match of this series earlier in the week.

This time round he took 3-11 from nine overs, which included four maiden overs.

It set the United States on their way to a third successive win in this series, and extended their lead at the top of the World Cup League Two.

“It has been a brilliant performance over the past three games,” Netravalkar said.

“We always had the belief we are a good team. On our day, when we execute our plans, we can give a good fight to any opposition.

“The Scotland game [which they won by 35 runs] was an especially tough one, and I am glad we came through. It is about how you win those small moments, where you hold your nerve.

“As a unit, guys have put their hands up at different times and taken on the responsibility. That is a good sign for us.”

UAE have one point so far from three matches in the competition, which came via a wash-out against Scotland in Sharjah on Wednesday.

The national team has been overhauled for this series, in the wake of the corruption crisis that engulfed the game here in October, depriving them of six senior players.

On the opening day of the series against the United States, the side included six players making ODI debuts.

Brown, though, is refusing to use the side’s collective inexperience as an excuse, and is demanding his players raise their game.

“We have to remember that, while you stick to your strengths, there is a way to play relative to the game situation,” Brown said.

“It was a disciplined performance with the ball by USA, but I think we contributed a lot to our own demise, particularly up top.

“We were 39 for five in the power play, and I think if you analyse any of the dismissals, you could probably say that every single one of them, they could do something about.

“We are not going to win many games at 39 for five. You are not going to win the game in the power play, but if you play poorly, you can lose it in the power play.”

Updated: December 12, 2019 06:43 PM

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