x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Watchful UAE duo end Scotland's win streak in World Cricket League

Patil and Shaiman's 82-run partnership puts the hosts level on points on top of the table after a four-wicket win.

The UAE team celebrates the dismissal of Fraser Watts of Scotland.
The UAE team celebrates the dismissal of Fraser Watts of Scotland.

SHARJAH // Swapnil Patil and Shaiman Anwar, two work colleagues at the same construction company as well as teammates for the UAE, managed to curb their natural enthusiasm to eke out a valuable win over Scotland.

The national team's four-wicket victory at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium ended Scotland's 100 per cent record in the World Cricket League.

It means the UAE are now level on points with their visitors in second place in a league table which guarantees World Cup qualification for the top two sides.

They were reliant on an atypically watchful 82 run partnership between Patil, the Mumbai-born wicketkeeper, and Shaiman - two players who are renowned in domestic cricket for their six-hitting - to repair the damage after four early wickets.

It was Patil who guided them across the finish line in style, hitting a one-bounce four to seal the win.

"We are excited, as obviously the World Cup is always in the back of our minds when we play in this competition," Patil, who works as a receptionist for Yogi Group, said.

"We always want to take each match as it is, but having now won four matches out of five, the World Cup is always there at the back of our mind."

Victory seemed to be a given at halfway, after the UAE's spin-heavy bowling attack restricted the Scots to 167 all out.

However, a fine new-ball spell by Gordon Goudie, the seam bowler who excelled the four-day Intercontinental Cup tie between these side last month, quickly reduced the UAE to 35 for four.

"We knew we had to stay at the wicket, accumulate ones and twos, which we managed to, and then we could put the opposition under pressure," Patil said.

"The run rate was so low, it was never a problem. We just needed to make sure we played safely and didn't do anything fancy."

The seminal stand between Patil and Shaiman meant Aaqib Javed, the new coach of the national team, was able to open his account with a win.

"It was a total they could easily achieve, but the four quick wickets came at the wrong time for us," said Aaqib, who deemed his role to be an "observing" brief on his first day with the national team.

"They kept the cool very well and showed some maturity."

The two sides meet for a second time at the Sharjah Cricket Stadium tomorrow.

 

pradley@thenational.ae