UAE make it to World Cup Qualifier Super Six stage despite loss to Ireland

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UAE qualified despite a 226-run defeat to Ireland. Pic courtesy: @cricketworldcup/Twitter

The UAE qualified for the Super Six stage of the World Cup qualifier despite a heavy 226-run defeat to Ireland in Zimbabwe on Monday.

Batting first, Ireland smashed 313-6 in their allotted 50 overs, with openers Paul Stirling (126) and William Porterfield (92) adding 205 for the opening wicket inside 35 overs. Kevin O’Brien then cracked 50 off just 26 deliveries to boost the Irish total.

For the UAE, Mohammad Naveed was the most successful bowler with three scalps but gave away 84 runs from his nine overs.

In reply, the UAE were never in the game. They were 65-3 in the 14th before suffering a spectacular collapse to be bowled out for 91 in 29.3 overs. Paceman Boyd Rankin was the most successful bowler for Ireland with 4-15 from six overs. Simi Singh finished with 3-15 from his six overs. UAE’s target had been revised to 318 from 44 overs following rain intervention.

For the UAE, only four batsmen managed to reach double figures.

However, the Rohan Mustafa-led side made it to the Super Six stage after fellow Group A team West Indies defeated the Netherlands by 54 runs.

The result meant the UAE finished third in Group A with four points behind the West Indies (8) and Ireland (6) to qualify for the Super Six stage.

In Group B, Zimbabwe, Scotland and Afghanistan qualified for the next phase.

Since both UAE and Afghanistan qualified as the third team, they won’t carry forward any points to the next stage. The top two teams in the Super Six stage qualify for the 2019 World Cup.

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Sydney Thunder stars Shane Watson and Chris Green pass on knowledge to It's Just Cricket youngsters

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All smiles: Shane Watson and Chris Green with IJC cricketers

It was a training session of a different kind for budding cricketers of It’s Just Cricket Academy as Sydney Thunder stars Shane Watson and Chris Green passed on their knowledge and tips during a special visit in Dubai.

The Australian pair took time out from their busy schedule with Quetta Gladiators to give advice to the academy’s boys and girls as well as handing out end-of-term certificates to the players.

Just last month, IJC welcomed members of the Zimbabwe team and Sam Charnley, international director of cricket of KOOH Sports, said: “It was simply fantastic to have the guys down from Sydney Thunder and really shows our strong relationship with the Big Bash League team.

“Shane and Chris were brilliant with the IJC players and spent lots of time interacting with the kids and parents. It’s one thing watching them train or play but to actually be trained by them is another level.

With Term Three already underway, there are still places available for budding cricketers to develop their knowledge under the guidance of IJC coaches.

For details on how to get involved at the quickest growing academy in the region, email [email protected]

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Ahmed Raza says UAE must focus on the basics to beat Ireland in World Cup Qualifier

Denzil Pinto 11/03/2018
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UAE’s Ahmed Raza has urged his team-mates to play their natural game and get “ the basics right” if they want to beat Ireland on Monday and reach the World Cup Qualifier Super Six stage.

UAE enter their final World Cup Qualifier group stage match in Zimbabwe knowing a triumph over the Irish will guarantee them a place in the next round.

Even if they do lose, the UAE can still advance if other results go their way. The UAE, currently on four points and placed third in Group A, have a poor record against the Irish with no win in five ODIs.

Raza believes now is the time to end that poor run.

“What better place to change that record than in a World Cup Qualifier,” said the 29-year-old spinner. “There is no pressure on us whatsoever.

“We have played some very good cricket so far in this competition and everybody is ready for it. Ireland will be the favourites because of their record so we’ll just go out and enjoy our cricket.”

The top three teams from Group A and B move to the Super Six stage.

In the other Group A match, the West Indies take on Netherlands in another significant fixture. While West Indies are through to the Super Six stage with three wins out of three, the Dutch – placed fourth with just one victory – must win by a big margin to have any hopes of joining the two-time world champions in the next round.

“We cannot control what the other teams are doing,” said Raza, whose side needs to finish in the top three between Scotland, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and Hong Kong in the competition to maintain ODI status and continue receiving ICC funding until 2022.

“We can only do what we can and that is to give our best and win the game against Ireland. We know it will be hard as they have some very good players but  we will have to do the basics right.”

There have already been some big shocks in the 10-team tournament. Afghanistan, who were favourites before the tournament started, will be hoping Scotland beat Nepal on Monday that will improve their chances of sneaking into the Super Six stage. The Afghans are placed third in Group B with just one win – against Nepal – and three defeats.

“I knew there will be a lot of surprises because there are 10 strong teams here,” added Raza. “It depends how you play cricket as qualifiers is always a different ball game altogether.”

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