x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE and Papua New Guinea set for two T20 matches on same day to conclude series

A busy home season of international matches for the UAE reaches a culmination on Friday when they play two Twenty20 internationals in one day against Papua New Guinea.

UAE batsman Shaiman Anwar plays a shot during the most recent Twenty20 against Papua New Guinea on Wednesday. The UAE won the match by five wickets. Pawan Singh / The National
UAE batsman Shaiman Anwar plays a shot during the most recent Twenty20 against Papua New Guinea on Wednesday. The UAE won the match by five wickets. Pawan Singh / The National

ABU DHABI // A busy home season of international matches for the UAE reaches a culmination on Friday when they play two Twenty20 internationals in one day against Papua New Guinea.

The two sides face each other at 9.30am at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi, before meeting again after lunch, with the final match of the three-game T20 series starting at 2.30pm.

The sets of players already know each other well. They have played each other in one format or another on eight of the past 14 days.

The UAE, for their part, have played 12 official internationals since the start of the Desert Twenty20 in January.

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After Friday’s final day against PNG, they will head to Muscat to play a series of three 50-over matches against Oman later this month.

Dougie Brown, the coach, plans to juggle the playing resources from one match to the next, but not at the expense of success.

“We came into this series with a squad of 14 players, which turned out to be 15 after Qadeer Ahmed [fractured his thumb], and we wanted everyone to feature,” Brown said.

“We may see a couple of changes definitely. Two T20 games in 40 degree heat is hard for everyone. We have to look after guys, we can’t just flog them into the ground.

“Saying that, winning is a habit, so we can’t compromise what we are trying to achieve. There are some good players in this squad sitting on the sidelines who would do a good job, too.”

Having spent a week acclimatising with practice matches in Dubai, before the series against the UAE started, PNG have had the sort of workload they are not used to.

Despite winning just one official match so far, Assad Vala, the PNG captain, said his side have been happy with the schedule.

“We are here to play cricket, we love our cricket,” Vala said. “We are up for it and we train really hard so we can’t complain.

“We would love to play more matches to get the exposure we need to play international cricket.”

pradley@thenational.ae

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