Finally there was something to celebrate for the UAE men’s side as they got their Indoor Cricket World Cup campaign up and running with a first victory.
The hosts went into the game on the back of three-straight defeats but there was no repeat yesterday as they beat England 80-79 at Dubai’s InSportz Club.
They had a chance to build on that success later in the evening but were toppled by India, who won a thrilling encounter by 39-26.
After Sunday’s loss to South Africa, coach Murali Sockalingam was convinced success would come against England and his team proved him right. Vikrant Shetty, who represented the outdoor side, was the star performer, scoring 22 runs while also taking two wickets.
Despite losing to India, the UAE claimed seven points, which sees them sit sixth in the standings on 14 points, six adrift of India, who occupy the fourth spot.
They have three more games remaining, including today’s clash against Sri Lanka to claim a semi-final berth and captain Saqib Nazir declared the win over England was long overdue.
“Finally we have a win, it took a long time coming, and it is sweet,” he said.
“I think playing the top three teams gave us an extra boost, we did pretty well against Australia, New Zealand and South Africa and that was really important for us.”
One player that was watching the action was Australia captain Lyle Teske and he was impressed by what he saw of the UAE.
“I think there is every chance they (UAE) can make it to the top four,” he said.
“They are a good side and keep getting better. The more they play against quality opposition, the better they will get.”
Meanwhile, the UAE women’s side were outclassed by England as they lost -16-84.
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