Interim head coach Dougie Brown says the UAE can draw a lot of positives despite their ODI series defeat to Ireland.
The hosts suffered eight-wicket and 85-run losses in their two matches at the ICC Academy in Brown’s first games in charge since taking over the helm last month.
And while the batting remains a concern with no batsman reaching a half-century in the team’s total of 185 and 202, Brown was encouraged by what he saw.
“These two games was a good opportunity to see where we were,” said the former Scotland and England international, who is on a three-month deal.
“A lot of what we saw from the UAE was really positive. In the first game, in the first 10 to 15 overs, we bowled extremely well. In the last 10 overs, Zahoor Khan bowled absolutely superbly. It’s not often you see someone who takes six wickets in an international match.
“I think in the second ODI, Ireland played exceptionally well but we were only batting well in patches. I thought Rameez Shahzad and Shaiman Anwar was outstanding with their 78-run partnership but just needed more big stands like that.”
Ireland captain William Porterfield led from the front by smashing 100 and 76 runs in both games and Brown feels his players should take a leaf from his innings.
“I’m hoping there are a lot of learning curves from those games, because if our batters want to copy anybody, they can copy any part of William Porterfield’s two innings because he played superbly,” he said. “The way Porterfield batted, he really showed his experience.”
Brown now turns his focus to the national team’s next competitive assignment against Papua New Guinea in early April in the World Cricket League Championship and ICC Intercontinental Cup.
While he believes his players must learn the importance of rotating the strike for those games, he has hinted Mohammed Naveed, who surprisingly opened the innings with scores of 14 and 4 in both Ireland games, could be given another chance as opener.
“I think the ability for us batsmen to rotate strike is something that we need to improve,” he said. “Naveed didn’t get any runs in the second ODI but if he can give us a good start by being there until the 10th over, it can give us a front foot in the innings.”