x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

New recruit Alam set for second bite of the cherry

The UAE cricket team will put the final touches to their preparations for the World Twenty20 qualifier when they take on the United States in the capital today.

ABU DHABI // The UAE cricket team will put the final touches to their preparations for the World Twenty20 qualifier when they take on the United States in the capital today. Safe in the knowledge that the team dynamic is in good working order, as evidenced by a succession of victories in the format over the past fortnight, their time this afternoon may be best spent introducing themselves to their last-minute recruits.

Awais Alam, an Abu Dhabi-based seam bowler, will be given his second taste of international cricket after answering an SOS call from the national selectors late last week. Alam earned his 11th hour promotion after Amjad Javed withdrew with a hand injury. Alam, who plays for Abu Dhabi Gymkhana, was rushed into the side for the first of two 20-over games against the US in Sharjah on Friday. It was an eye-opener for him, as he was taken for 20 from his two overs with the new ball.

The UAE are likely to base their game plan for the qualifying competition, which starts on Tuesday and carries the carrot of a place in the World Twenty20 in May, around their battery of slow bowlers. Their healthy reserve of spin options has also been bolstered by the return of Shadeep Silva, the Sri Lankan left-arm spinner. pradley@thenational.ae