Following their exit from the 2015 Cricket World Cup, UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir was left pondering the possibilities that could have transformed a ‘satisfactory performance’ into an unforgettable campaign for his team.
The least experienced side in the tournament, UAE failed to win a single match in the group stage, although they did play well in parts of games and there were several good individual performances in the side.
And even in their final defeat to the West Indies, Tauqir’s men did well to fight back from a precarious position of 46-6.
“We know we could have done better than this, especially in our batting department, but overall it was a satisfactory performance. I think it was not as consistent as it should have been,” said Tauqir while reflecting on his team’s World Cup efforts.
“I think even today 250-plus runs would have been a very challenging total for West Indies.
— Joy Chakravarty (@TheJoyOfCricket) March 14, 2015
“Of course there were a few positives. Amjad [Javed] and Shaiman [Anwar] did very well consistently throughout the tournament. [Mohammad] Naveed was good and Swapnil [Patil] played a very good knock against South Africa.
“Overall, our bowling department was pretty consistent in every game. I think we need to make a little bit of improvement in our fielding and batting departments but we take a lot of positives from the whole event, and it was overall a good learning experience for us.”
When quizzed about his favourite moment in the six pool stage matches, and the most challenging one, Tauqir said: “I think overall the whole tournament has been very, very special for the whole team. But the one moment that would have changed the game was I think Kevin O’Brien’s catch that got dropped. If that catch would have been taken, we would have definitely won that game.
“As for challenging, facing up to Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel bowling short-pitched stuff into our body was the toughest.
— UAE Cricket Official (@EmiratesCricket) March 14, 2015
“At the same time, I’m also very thankful to them for bowling the way they bowled to us. By facing them it gave us a lot of confidence. I think that innings was a highlight for us, and we almost played 48 overs in that match [against] the most hostile bowling that we have faced in this tournament.”
And Tauqir, the oldest player in the tournament alongside teammate Khurram Khan at 43, said he has had not thought of quitting cricket.
“I don’t know about Khurram, but I think we have done a lot of hard work during the last eight to 10 months in preparation of this tournament, and I feel pretty fit,” said the off-spinner.
“I would definitely like to continue playing as long as I’m enjoying the game, and I think so would Khurram.”
The UAE team have a day-long stopover in Melbourne tomorrow and are expected to land in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday morning.
UAE continued to gain respect for their fighting qualities, despite a heavy defeat to the West Indies which could have been a great deal more embarrassing.
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The final Pool B match for the UAE and West Indies was a must-win for the Caribbeans, and they needed to make sure they won by a margin that made their net run rate better than that of both Pakistan and Ireland, who are playing the final group match of the tournament in Adelaide.
West Indies managed to do both. After restricting the UAE to 175 all out in 47.4 overs, West Indies needed to chase down the target inside 36.2 overs to get the net run rate in their favour, and they crossed the line in the 31st over.
UAE finished their campaign with no wins from their six pool stage matches.
However, it could have been a lot easier for them, when after winning the toss and electing to bowl first, they reduced the UAE to 46 for six wickets in the 14th over.
— Joy Chakravarty (@TheJoyOfCricket) March 15, 2015
There were good reasons for Jason Holder to ask the UAE to bat. The most significant being they would be aware of the run rate at which they needed to score, but equally important was to make use of the new ball under heavily overcast conditions created by the approaching Cyclone Pam.
Holder led from the front in that department, bowling his ten overs off the reel, and rattling the UAE top order with seam movement and pace. The West Indies skipper finished with figures of 4-27.
And yet, the UAE again managed to put together a century partnership for the seventh wicket – this time between Amjad Javed (56, 99 balls, 7×4, 1×6) and Nasir Aziz (60, 86b, 8×4). The two shared a stand of 107 runs, matched the efforts of Javed and Shaiman Anwar in their second match against Ireland.
Both players completed their maiden ODI half-centuries, which was creditable after Holder instigated a top-order collapse, having openers Andri Berenger and Amjad Ali, and Krishna Karate back in the pavilion with the total at 17.
— Joy Chakravarty (@TheJoyOfCricket) March 14, 2015
Fellow paceman Jerome Taylor chipped in at the other end, removing Khurram Khan and Shaiman Anwar to leave the side reeling at 5-26.
The West Indies, who were without their talismanic opener Chris Gayle – ruled out with a back injury and replaced by Johnson Charles – went on a leather hunt in reply.
They took their batting Powerplay as early as the 12th over, and stepped off the gas only when the fourth wicket fell in the form of Andre Russell at 118 in the 18th over. Test captain Denesh Ramadin then joined Jonathan Carter (50 not out, 58b, 5×4) and the duo then took their team past the target in 30.3 overs.
Charles was the top-scorer for West Indies with 55 (40b, 9×4, 2×6), but Holder was named Man of the Match.
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