Fielding a key issue for captain Khan

Denzil Pinto 17/03/2014
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Upbeat: Khurram Khan is confident of a good show by his UAE team.

UAE captain Khurram Khan insists the players are riding high on confidence but admits his team must improve their fielding when they take on Netherlands in their World Twenty20 opener.  

It will be the first World Twenty20 match for the UAE, who also face Zimbabwe on Wednesday and Ireland on Friday in Group B.

UAE know they must top the group to advance to the Super 10 stage where England, Sri Lanka, South Africa and New Zealand await.

“I’m happy with the team so far," declared Khan. "The batsmen are doing their job and the bowlers are doing well. My only concern is the fielding as it’s not up to scratch. We have to be much better on the field beginning with Netherlands as there will be strong powerful batsmen in the competition.”

The UAE won and lost against the Netherlands in their two practice matches earlier this month, but Khan is aware that there is much more at stake in Monday's game. 

“We know Netherlands pretty well. We have played them a few times and we know what dangers they pose. At the same time I would think they (Netherlands) would know us quite well,” said the 42-year-old.

“In any match we can’t take any opponent lightly especially Netherlands and that it’s our first game of the tournament. It’s the shortest format of the game so we have to be at our best in every department from the first ball to the last ball of the game. I’m confident that if we perform to our abilities we can give them a good test.”

The UAE can draw confidence from their two impressive performances in the warm-up games – a narrow four-wicket loss to hosts Bangladesh and a six-wicket win over Nepal on Friday.

“If you take the last two matches (Bangladesh and Nepal) then we did very well. We gave a very tough time to Bangladesh on their home ground and played superbly against Nepal. The team is in good shape and we are hoping to repeat the performances in this campaign,” said Khan.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe face Ireland with both sides knowing the outcome of the match could decide who qualifies for the Super 10.

Both teams lost one of their two warm-up matches with Zimbabwe losing by six four wickets while Bangladesh beat Ireland by 44 runs.

Ireland captain William Porterfield refused to say who will eventually qualify, noting that all four teams are in contention to advance.

“If you think it will all come down to one match you are underestimating other teams in the group. If you are doing that you are putting yourself on the back foot really. It is an important game, every game is,” he said.

“There are three games; you need to win three to move into the Super 10. That is our aim, that is our objective and that is what we are looking to do.”

Most popular

Related Sections

Australia’s Mitchell Johnson ruled out of World T20

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Sore miss: Johnson (c) has been in lethal form for Australia.

Feared pace bowler Mitchell Johnson was ruled out of the World Twenty20 with a toe infection on Sunday, dealing a blow to Australia's hopes in the tournament.

Johnson cut his right big toe after the third Test win over South Africa and after infection set in, medication was unable to bring it under control, Cricket Australia said.

He will be replaced by fellow quick Doug Bollinger in Australia's squad for the tournament in Bangladesh whose opening rounds get underway on Sunday.

"We have given Mitchell as long as we can but unfortunately his infection hasn't responded to the treatment as quickly as we had hoped with swelling remaining in his toe and foot," chief medical officer Justin Paoloni said. "

It is difficult to say how quickly the infection will take to resolve and due to the high risk of infection recurrence with a return to bowling we feel it is in the best interests of Mitchell's health for him to continue to receive intensive treatment in Perth."

National selector John Inverarity said Australia would miss Johnson as they bid to win the World Twenty20 for the first time. 

"This is disappointing news as it was anticipated that Mitch would have a significant impact with his pace and menace," he said.

Most popular

Related Sections

Nepal hammer Hong Kong on World T20 debut

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Battle of debutants: Nepal were far too strong for Hong Kong.

Nepal marked their arrival on the international cricket stage with a massive 80-run win over fellow newcomers Hong Kong in a preliminary group match at the World Twenty20 Sunday.

Nepal hammered 149-8 after being sent into bat and then bowled Hong Kong out for just 69 in 17 overs in the day-night match at Chittagong's Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury stadium.

The memorable group A win was set up by skipper Paras Khadka and Gyanendra Malla, who put on 80 for the third wicket after Nepal were reduced to 36-2 in 5.1 overs.

Khadka hit a 37-ball 41, while Malla made 48 off 41 balls with four boundaries and a six. Nepal lost four wickets off the last four deliveries of the innings — two of them run out — which denied them a bigger total.

But even the 150-run target proved too stiff for Hong Kong after the inspirational Khadka had opener Irfan Ahmed caught behind with the first ball of the innings.

Hong Kong suffered a dramatic middle order collapse, losing four wickets in eight balls at the same score of 58. The innings was wrecked by Nepal's two left-arm spinners, with Shakti Gauchan claiming three wickets for nine runs and Basant Regmi taking three for 14.

Babar Hayat top-scored for Hong Kong with 20, but eight batsmen failed to reach double figures against the steady Nepalese attack. Khadka said the win augurs well for the future.

"There is good spirit in the team and the boys are really hungry to do well," he said. "We want to play good cricket and continue that way in other matches too.

"We have to start all over again in our next game against Bangladesh and take the positives from this game."

Hosts Bangladesh had thumped Afghanistan by nine wickets in the group A tournament opener in Dhaka earlier on Sunday. Hong Kong captain Jamie Atkinson said poor batting let his team down.

"I think it was a decent effort to keep them down to 149, but the batting was disappointing," he said. "We need to work harder and show we are a better team than this result indicates."

Nepal and Hong Kong are among six qualifiers — the others being Ireland, Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates and the Netherlands — who joined Zimbabwe and Bangladesh in the two-group preliminary league.

The two group winners will then contest the Super-10 round with the top eight Test nations — Australia, Pakistan, South Africa, England, New Zealand, India, Sri Lanka and the West Indies — from March 21.

The final is on April 6 in Dhaka.

Most popular

Related Sections