Coach Dougie Brown says his team guilty of 'playing the name on the back of the shirt rather than the ball' following 32-run defeat, but overall encouraged by their efforts
UAE edged by West Indies despite Imran Haider's exploits in World Cup Qualifier warm-up
Dougie Brown said the UAE had been denied a famous win against West Indies as they were guilty of “playing the name on the back of the shirt rather than the ball”.
However, the coach insists the national team did enough in their 32-run loss in the warm-up match to believe they could upset the odds when the sides meet again in the World Cup Qualifier next week.
The fact they were playing each other at all at this stage seems bizarre, seeing as they are drawn in the same first round group.
They will play in Harare on Tuesday, in what will be the Caribbean side’s first official engagement in the tournament. The UAE start against Papua New Guinea on Sunday.
The UAE’s bowlers will take great confidence from the fact they bowled the two-time World Cup winners out for just 115 at Harare Sports Club.
Imran Haider took four wickets with his leg-spin, while Mohammed Naveed, Ahmed Raza and Rohan Mustafa claimed two apiece as they bowled out a side including the likes of Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels and Carlos Brathwaite.
The UAE were then dismissed within 30 overs themselves, as they could manage just 83 in reply. Nikita Miller took 5-20 with his left-arm spin.
“All in all, it has been a good day, as it is not life or death as regards the competition,” Brown said. “The one thing is we have proved the ourselves is that the West Indies are there, if they don’t play so well they are a team that we can beat. That was a very important outcome on the back of today.”
UAE captain Rohan Mustafa said on arrival in Zimbabwe earlier in the week that he was optimistic the pitch at the Qualifier would suit his side’s style of play.
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According to Brown, the evidence of the match against West Indies supported Mustafa's idea that their spin bowlers might have a significant part to play.
“It was a sticky pitch which very much helped the spinners all the way through,” Brown said. “Batting last was going to be a challenge, but in the first half I thought we did exceptionally well. We bowled and fielded magnificently.
“Naveed and Amir Hayat set the tone up front, the way they controlled the power play was great, then when we came out of the power play, the spinners came into their own.
“We knew 115 wasn’t a massive total, but they have decent spinners as well. It was disappointing to lose as many wickets as we did to softish dismissals, as if they were playing the name on the back of the shirt rather than the ball as it came down to them.”