UAE ig­nore World Cup Qual­i­fier tur­moil to beat Scot­land in warm-up

The National - News - - SPORT - PAUL RADLEY

The UAE re­sponded to four days of tur­moil with a morale-boost­ing win in their first of­fi­cial warm-up match ahead of the T20 World Cup Qual­i­fier.

The na­tional team beat Scot­land, who are the top-ranked side in the qual­i­fy­ing tour­na­ment, by 37 runs at the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium.

It was an im­pres­sive dis­play by a side that had been en­veloped by chaos since Mo­hammed Naveed, the cap­tain and lead­ing strike bowler, was stood down and with­drawn from the squad late on Thurs­day.

To ex­ac­er­bate the prob­lems, Shaiman An­war, the high­est-placed UAE bats­man in the world T20 rank­ings, and the seam-bowler Qadeer Ahmed have also been re­moved from the squad.

It is un­der­stood that none of the trio are in­jured.

The con­tro­versy will linger for some time yet, with the Emi­rates Cricket Board main­tain­ing their si­lence over the rea­son for the omis­sion of the three play­ers. The ICC have also said they will make no com­ment on the is­sue.

Dougie Brown, the UAE coach, said af­ter the win over Scot­land that he re­mains un­able to speak on the mat­ter, but that he was de­lighted by how his play­ers had coped with the prob­lems.

“Not at the mo­ment, but I think it will be­come clear over the next two or three days,” Brown said when asked to clar­ify why the play­ers had been left out.

“Clearly, it has been a dif­fi­cult week for us, so it was lovely to get a win in the way we did, against one of the favourites for the com­pe­ti­tion.

“To­day was a day about com­pet­ing as best we could. We have a fairly clear strat­egy and ev­ery­one who is in the squad will know what the strat­egy is.

“While the peo­ple may change, the roles re­main con­sis­tent. I think that has worked

re­ally well for us com­ing in to this game to­day.”

There had been a rush to find re­place­ments for Naveed, Shaiman and Qadeer when it be­came clear over the week­end they would be un­avail­able for the tour­na­ment.

Ju­naid Sid­dique, a fast bowler who was the di­rect bowl­ing re­place­ment for Naveed, and Wa­heed Ahmed, the re­place­ment for his name­sake Qadeer, have been train­ing with the na­tional team for some time now. Wa­heed took 3-18, and Sid­dique one wicket, as UAE re­stricted Scot­land to 120-9.

Rameez Shahzad had top scored with 43 not out as the UAE had posted 157-5 from their 50 overs. The third new re­cruit, who did not fea­ture against Scot­land, had much fur­ther to travel.

Dar­ius D’Silva, who was born in Dubai and spent many of his school years in the city, is now res­i­dent in Aus­tralia.

The uni­ver­sity stu­dent had played a match in West­ern Aus­tralia on Satur­day, then went di­rectly to Perth Air­port that night to travel to the UAE af­ter the late call to join the squad.

The UAE will play their last warm-up match, against Pa­pua New Guinea at Zayed Cricket Sta­dium in Abu Dhabi, this evening, be­fore start­ing their Qual­i­fier cam­paign against Oman on Fri­day.

UAE cap­tain Ahmed Raza, cen­tre, and Wa­heed Ahmed, right, cel­e­brate in Dubai against Scot­land.

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