x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Defeat ends Emirates hopes

The Fly Emirates team now turns its attention to the ACC Trophy defence after a shock exit from the Sharjah Twenty20 tournament.

The UAE's Arshad Ali, pictured above in action, is disappointed with Fly Emirates' early Twenty20 exit.
The UAE's Arshad Ali, pictured above in action, is disappointed with Fly Emirates' early Twenty20 exit.

The UAE's top domestic cricket team, Fly Emirates, will miss Thursday's Rosy Blue Twenty20 Summer Cup final in Sharjah after falling to a shock quarter- final defeat to Khatri CC. The Emirates side is made up of the much of the UAE Probables squad preparing for the ACC Trophy later this month, and in Khurran Khan and Arshad Ali, they had two of the nation's best players on display in the event.

The strength of the Emirates side has earned them a proud reputation even beyond the borders of the UAE. At the end of last month, they travelled to the UK to continue their series of matches against the English cricket charity side, The Lord's Taverners. The Taverners trail in that series, even though they regularly pick international players such as the former England fast bowling trio Darren Gough, Andrew Caddick and Devon Malcolm to face the Emirates.

However, despite their good warm-up, Javed Ismail's side were humbled by Khatri, the company side of a Sharjah-based trading firm, by six wickets after being bowled out for 118 in 19.4 overs. "In Twenty20 cricket the smaller teams always have a chance of upsetting the bigger teams," said Arshad, the UAE all-rounder. "There is no time to settle when you are batting, and the dew really affected our spinners. We couldn't grip the ball. Khatri do have some good players, some we know from Karachi, but we are disappointed we lost."

Emirates' defeat followed a day after the ECB Blues, another side made up entirely of UAE squad members, had crashed out at the quarter-final stage. The final takes place at 7.30pm on Thursday at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium. The UAE will start their defence of the ACC Trophy, a competition for Asia's top non-Test playing nations, against Saudi Arabia on July 25 in Kuala Lumpur. @Email:pradley@thenational.ae