Wet weather puts pay to promising UAE start

Denzil Pinto 23:18 10/08/2016
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While English coach Paul Franks is used to rain, the UAE team is not.

Resuming play on 198-5 in Ayr on Wednesday, Rameez Shahzad (74) and nightwatchman Ahmed Raza (9) only added 14 runs to their overnight score, facing just six overs before umpires abandoned play just after 18:00 UAE time.

It is the second consecutive day the match has been hit with bad weather but Franks accepts this is just part of the game.

“The conditions have been inconsistent for the last few days,” said the 37-year-old, who has been named interim coach for the tour after Aaqib Javed stepped down in May.

“It hasn’t rained heavily but it has rained consistently and unfortunately the guys had no choice but to call off play at 3pm. It wasn’t going to stop and to be honest it is a frustrating day all round.”

He added: “There’s not much that you can do when you are in the dressing room waiting for the rain to stop. They had an opportunity to chill out, rest and switch their minds off.

“It’s one of the frustrating things of playing cricket in the UK. You have to wait to kill time and the boys will not be used to this as it’s very rarely something they have to deal with in the UAE.”

While the Englishman will be encouraged by what he’s seen so far, the forecast for the remainder of the four-day match is grim with rain expected on Thursday and Friday.

But the former England international is adamant the weather will not be an excuse for the players to lose their focus and has backed them to cause problems for the hosts if or when the match resumes.

“They have been very good in understanding and implementing the tactics on the field,” he said.

“Myself and the captain (Amjad Javed) will be very clear on where we want the game to go over the next two days.

“When our time comes, we still have a lot of batting to do and still got strength in our middle-order to come. We’ll hopefully be in a position where we can dictate terms and when we do bowl, we will go out there and do a good job and give ourselves the best chance to finish the game.”

Shahzad only added eight to his overnight score and agreed with Franks that the wet conditions are proving to be a challenge.

“It’s a bit difficult batting now because the wicket is now a bit wet so the ball has started to move now,” said the 28-year-old. “It just means we all have to concentrate more and keep going.”

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