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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 September 2018

UAE's cricket World Cup hopes extinguished after Scotland defeat but coach Dougie Brown not looking for excuses

National team’s efforts courageous against Scotland given they had to field patched up XI because of effects of viral illness to hit squad

<p>Mohammed Usman, pictured batting during Scotland in Harare, played a key role in the UAE&#39;s victory over the Maldives in Kuwait. ICC</p>
<p>Mohammed Usman, pictured batting during Scotland in Harare, played a key role in the UAE&#39;s victory over the Maldives in Kuwait. ICC</p>

The UAE’s hopes of reaching the World Cup have been extinguished as they lost by 73 runs to Scotland in the opening match of the Super Six stage at the Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

The result leaves UAE bottom of the six-team second phase, with no points and just two matches remaining.

Even if they won both their matches, it would be impossible to reach the top two places.

It is mathematically impossible to finish above Scotland, who have five points, or at least one of either West Indies or Zimbabwe – who have four and three points respectively but play against each other on Monday.

The national team’s efforts were courageous against Scotland, though, given they had to field a patched up XI because of the effects of a viral illness that has hit the squad.

Rameez Shahzad, who made a century against West Indies in the first round before becoming the first player to fall foul of the illness, was left behind as the team travelled from Harare to Bulawayo to play Scotland.

Three other players, plus the team manager Andy Russell, have been consigned to their beds because of a similar affliction. Reserve fast bowler Qadeer Ahmed was sent home from the ground after attempting to carry out his duties as a substitute.

The most striking alteration to the XI was the fact Mohammed Boota, who rarely ever keeps wicket, had to take the gloves from first-choice keeper Ghulam Shabber.

UAE coach Dougie Brown refused to blame the troubles for the loss to the side he formerly represented as a player.

Matthew Cross top scored with 114 – his second century against UAE in the past two months – as Scotland made 322-6 from their 50 overs.

UAE were bowled out for 249 in the 48th over, despite a sparkling 80 by Mohammed Usman, as well as a half-century for Ahmed Raza.

“We didn’t balance the team as we had wanted to but the players we had out in the middle are good players,” Brown said. “We didn’t get it right today, but we are not looking for excuses.

Between now and the next match against Afghanistan [on Tuesday] we need to work really hard to make sure the mistakes that we have made are not there.”

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UAE spinner Imran Haider took the crucial wicket of Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer, who scored 43. ICC
UAE spinner Imran Haider took the crucial wicket of Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer, who scored 43. ICC

In Harare, Afghanistan revived their own faint hopes of World Cup qualification as they beat West Indies by three wickets.

The Afghans started the tournament as favourites, but only edged through to the second phase on run-rate, having lost three of their four group matches.

That meant they carried no points through with them into the Super Six. However, they showed their class by beating a West Indies side who had powered their way to four successive wins in the group stage.

Afghan captain Rashid Khan said his side have not given up hope in playing in the main event in England next year.

“Anything can happen in cricket,” Rashid said. “What we are going for is to win our three matches, and let’s see whatever the result is.

“We will try our best. There are lots of opportunities for us in the group to go into the finals. We hope for the best.”

West Indies captain Jason Holder said his side had fallen short of the standards they set previously in the tournament, and wants them to bounce back next time out against hosts Zimbabwe.

“We let ourselves down in the fielding, and we had set a good platform with wickets in hand to be able to launch,” Holder said. “It didn’t come off today. Credit must go to the Afghan bowlers, I thought they did really well, they kept things very tight going down to the back end of the innings.

"We have to regroup and come back again against Zimbabwe.”

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World Cup Qualifier, Zimbabwe

Super Sixes: Results on Thursday

  • Scotland beat UAE by 73 runs
  • Afghanistan beat West Indies by three wickets

Table

Super Six M W L T P NRR
1 Scotland 3 2 0 1 5 0.588
2 West Indies 3 2 1 0 4 0.666
3 Zimbabwe 2 1 0 1 3 0.020
4 Ireland 2 1 1 0 2 1.851
5 Afghanistan 3 1 2 0 2 -0.025
6 UAE 3 0 3 0 0 -2.493

Friday fixture: Ireland v Zimbabwe

Classification results

  • Netherlands beat Hong Kong by 44 runs
  • Afghanistan beat West Indies by three wickets

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