UAE captain Rohan Mustafa happy with team effort in World Cup Qualifier

Denzil Pinto 18:32 23/03/2018
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High five: Rohan Mustafa (left).

UAE captain Rohan Mustafa believes his team could have won more matches if they had a fully-fit squad for the Super Six stage.

The UAE bowed out of the World Cup Qualifier on a winning note with a historic three-run victory over Zimbabwe on Thursday. It was their first win in all formats against a Test-playing nation and only triumph in the second round of the 10-team tournament after falling to Scotland and Afghanistan in their previous two matches.

They had to do without key players – batsman Rameez Shahzad, wicket-keeper Ghulam Shabbir and Mohammad Hayat, who missed some games due to illness and injury, although they returned against Zimbabwe.

But having been encouraged by his team’s performance throughout the entire competition, Mustafa insists they would have registered more positive results if they had all players fit.

“It was a good tournament for us,” the all-rounder said. “We were in the same situation as Zimbabwe in Division Two World Cricket League where we were almost out of the tournament but needed to win our remaining games to stay in contention.

“We came to Zimbabwe and reached the Super Six stage, so it is a great tour for us. We were thinking of games that we could win but we had players injured and it cost us a lot. Rameez was injured, Amir Hayat was not well and was Ghulam Shabbir. But we will work hard and come back.”

It is unclear when the UAE will play their next match this year but Mustafa, who was found guilty of breaching the ICC Code of Conduct and fined 15 per cent of his match fee along with Zimbabwe batsman Sean Williams, said they will take a lot of self-belief that they can beat any team on their day.

“We can take a lot from this match and with it a lot of confidence,” he said. “It shows we can beat good teams. Zimbabwe are one of the best teams in the tournament and it was a great learning curve for us. Guys will take confidence from this and will help us in the future.”

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