The UAE ended a turbulent week with a remarkable victory over a full ICC member in Ireland – and match-winner Rohan Mustafa now says the sky is the limit.
Three UAE players – former skipper Mohammed Naveed, Shaiman Anwar and Qadeer Ahmed – were suspended by the ICC last week on anti-corruption charges.
It left the national team reeling just days before the start of the T20 World Cup Qualifier, hosted across Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
To make matters worse, the UAE lost their opening match of the tournament by seven wickets to Oman, before responding in superb style against a Test-playing nation.
What a match for United Arab Emirates' Rohan Mustafa!— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) October 19, 2019
He took four wickets, was involved in three run outs, took a catch and scored a 16-ball 39
UAE stun Ireland in the T20 World Cup Qualifier https://t.co/2N0EOrZ9E7 pic.twitter.com/mbUpViVIjv
Mustafa proved the hero by picking up four wickets before hitting a quick-fire 39 from just 16 balls to complete a five-wicket win over Ireland with 18 balls remaining.
“Ireland are the only Test playing side in this competition and to win over them, especially after losing our first game (against Oman), was a huge result for us,” said the 31-year-old all-rounder.
“In the T20 format, any team can win but this result was a massive confidence boost for the team.
The UAE’s next task is to beat Hong Kong at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Monday (GST: 14:10), knowing their opponents have lost both of their matches so far.
And Mustafa is hoping he can provide a veteran presence once again.
“As a senior player you have to play true to your potential and that’s what I did,” Mustafa added. “Everything worked out pretty well for me and the important thing is that we won.”
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