UAE women 'surprised ourselves' after running England close at Indoor Cricket World Cup in Dubai
They finished six runs short against England, before trailing Australia by 101 runs in their second game of the day.
Even a predictably hefty loss to eight-time champions Australia could not dampen the optimism of the UAE women’s team, after a bright start to their first international indoor tournament.
The national team have only been playing indoor cricket for a month. They took up the option of playing after the Emirates Cricket Board were invited to enter a team when Dubai was named as the host for this Indoor Cricket World Cup.
All the last minute cramming meant they were at least competitive in their opening game against England, and they might even have won.
They finished six runs short, before trailing Australia by 101 runs in their second game of the day.
Natasha Cherriath, the UAE captain, said her players shocked themselves by how well they started.
“We wanted to push ourselves to see where we stood against them, and we surprised ourselves,” she said.
“At the end of it, we came so close. To be very honest, we did not expect it, but the girls have been training so hard it has become habit to play indoor cricket.
“We were so excited we came back so strongly, and we will be excited next time we face them.”
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The nature of the defeat to Australia was not exactly a reality check. The host nation knew what they were up against, having played a practice match against the champions in the lead up to the tournament.
The Australian coach had even given the novice UAE players some advice on strategy.
“She gave us drills to do, it was really helpful, and the Australian team themselves have been really supportive,” Cherriath said.
“They are like our mentors. We look up to them when we play indoor cricket, because they have been champions for so long. And we did a lot better than in the practice game.”
Updated: September 16, 2017 08:29 PM