Imran Haider says Australia's Glenn Maxwell is best-ever wicket he's taken for the UAE

Denzil Pinto 14:06 23/10/2018
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Rewarded: Imran Haider

UAE spinner Imran Haider says he will cherish the wicket of Glenn Maxwell for a long time after ranking the Australian as the most high-profile scalp he’s taken in his international career.

Haider, 30, removed Maxwell for just 18 when the batsman was caught by Ahmed Raza in Monday’s first-ever official T20 international against the Baggy Green in Abu Dhabi.

Although the tourists went on to win by seven wickets, Haider was pleased to add to his tally with another elite cricketer’s scalp. Earlier this year, he dismissed Chris Gayle in the World Cup Qualifier while three years ago, against England at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, he took the wickets of Moeen Ali and Sam Billings in an unofficial match.

But he insists stopping Maxwell, one of T20’s most celebrated batsmen who has four fifties and two centuries to his name, sits top of his list.

“In international cricket, Glenn Maxwell is one of the big names in the world, especially in T20 cricket, so it was great to get him out,” said Haider. “He is a fantastic batsman who has played so much cricket around the world. We put him under pressure and bowled strongly against him. He wasn’t able to play his shots that he would usually. Before the match we were all targeting him so it was great that it was me who stopped his innings.

Glenn Maxwell was removed by Imran Haider on Monday

Glenn Maxwell was removed by Imran Haider on Monday

“It’s a proud moment although I would have loved to have been on the winning side.”

The two nations were meant to play in a warm-up match, with the Australians using the fixture as vital match practice ahead of their three-match T20I series against Pakistan, beginning on Wednesday.

But last week, with the support of the Pakistan Cricket Board, the ICC sanctioned the match as an international T20.

With Pakistan playing their ‘home’ matches in the UAE, Haider hopes this match will be just the start for more internationals against Test nations in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

“We must thank everyone who has helped put this game together and make it an international T20,” added Haider. “It is a big deal for us. If there are more games like these it wouldn’t just be beneficial to myself but for the whole of the UAE team. It would boost our confidence and help improve our game going forward.

“Although we scored a low total of 117, we put on a spirited display which we can learn from.”

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