UAE interim head coach Shah wants winning habit

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Sharing his experience: Owais Shah.

The former England international has returned to take charge until the end of January, having worked as coaching consultant for two weeks last month.

With the Emirates Cricket Board (ECB) still searching for Aaqib Javed’s permanent successor, Shah, 38, admits he would be willing to take on the job beyond January but his immediate focus is to bring out the best of his players.

He takes charge of a talented crop of cricketers and the batsman has made his priorities clear.

“I want to make sure the guys act as professional cricketers in every single thing they do,” he said.

“This is not just in cricket but in every day life as that has a knock-on effect in cricket. It’s important they know what to eat, how much rest they should be taking and how many hours of sleep they should get. All these qualities are needed to succeed and I want to help them being at their best.”

While Shah oversaw two victories in the three-match 50-over Oman series in Dubai, the UAE have struggled lately. His troops are winless in the four-day ICC Intercontinental Cup, while they have only tasted success once in the 50-over World Cricket League.

With matches scheduled against England Lions, Pakistan A and Afghanistan between now and January, Shah knows he faces a huge task.

“We want to win and be one of the best Associate sides out there,” he said. “It’s a challenge. I’ve not done much head coaching roles at all and I’m learning all the time. But what I can offer is knowledge. I can tap into a lot of head coaches who I know back in England as well as people in the national set-up.

“I just want to go and make a difference and help the guys become better cricketers. If after that ECB feels that I’m not the man, then that’s fine, but I will go out there and do a good job and try to improve their cricket.”

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UAE beat Oman to seal series win

Barnaby Read 15/10/2016
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Ahmed Raza starred with the ball.

Chasing 184 for victory, UAE’s batsmen made light work of their total as Muhammad Usman’s unbeaten half-century saw them over the line with 8.5 overs to spare.

Mohammad Qasim (45) and Ghulam Shabber (47) combined for a second-wicket partnership of 58 after Rohan Mustafa fell early on, setting up their team’s six-wicket win.

From there it was a straightforward chase for the UAE, Rameez Shahzad making sure it was even more comfortable by smashing 26 not out from just 13 balls in an innings that included two fours and three sixes.

Earlier in the day, a superb bowling effort from the hosts restricted Oman, whose total would have been even less had it not been for Mohammad Nadeem’s 42 or the last wicket stand from Rajeshkumar Ranpura (20*) and Sufyan Mehmood (17*), worth 37.

Mohammad Naveed (2-41), debutant Atif Ali Khan (1-11), Imran Haider (1-51) and Rohan Mustafa (1-33) all chipped in with wickets.

But the star man for UAE was Ahmed Raza, who took 3-19 from his ten overs and ripping through the Omani middle order.

It means the UAE claim the series with a match to play ahead of Monday’s final game at the same venue.

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UAE's Under-19 World Cup road comes to an end with semi-final defeat

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In vain: Yodhin Punja

The UAE’s hopes of playing in theUnder-19 2018 World Cup are over after they suffered a five-wicket

defeat to Malaysia in the Division Two qualifiers on Wednesday.

The tourists went into the game knowing a victory over the hosts would have seen them qualify for the final as well as December’s Division One tournament in Sri Lanka – the final stage for the showpiece event.

Instead, the UAE had a tough day in Kuala Lumpur as Malaysia chased their 156-run target with ease in the 30th over.

Batting first, vice-captain Fahad Choudhary (52), Ali Mirza (32), Sachin Jha (29) and Justin D’Souza (19) were the only batsmen to reach double figures as the UAE were all out inside 46 overs.

Defending a small total against the in-form unbeaten side, the UAE needed early wickets and they did exactly that.

Skipper Yodhin Punja led from the front, striking three times in the first six overs as Malaysia were 24-3.

Although Choudhary claimed one scalp, that was as good as it got for the UAE as knocks from Syed Aziz (60) and Virandeep Singh (44) proved to be decisive.

Jonathan Figy, who could only manage one run yesterday, admitted the best team won.

“It’s really disappointing to lose especially as you’re one step away from the final,” said the 15-year-old all-rounder.

“We played quite poorly on the day whereas they played well in all departments of the game.

“We were quite confident about our chances as we have a really talented squad but at the end of the day, it’s what you do on the pitch and Malaysia played better cricket than us.”

Despite their disappointing finish, there were positives to take from the last 10 days especially with the ball that saw three of their opponents bowled out for less than 48.

“It’s been a good experience of playing for the UAE especially in a tournament and it’s something I’ll always remember,” said Figy.

“We put in a lot of hard work and was a great learning curve.”

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