Minnows may be battling for 2019 World Cup spot, but not fighting all the way
NAPIER (Reuters) – With the governing body looking to downsize the tournament in 2019 the associate nations have impressed with some of their performances at the 2015 World Cup, but UAE’s attitude against Pakistan suggested something else might be driving their team.
Do not get embarrassed.
After going against conventional wisdom and choosing to field first on what is considered the best batting surface in New Zealand at McLean Park in Napier on Wednesday, UAE were unable to restrict Pakistan from quietly posting 339 for six.
It was the batting, however, that indicated their intentions and while Shaiman Anwar impressed again with 62, UAE never really looked interested in chasing the victory target and batted out their 50 overs to finish on 210 for eight.
Instead they appeared more mindful of being dismissed for 102 inside 32 overs against India in Perth in their previous match and did not want to repeat that.
“Our performance against India was not up to the mark but we discussed that against the rest of test nations we need to put up good performances,” UAE captain Mohammad Tauqir told reporters in Napier.
“Our effort is to do well against a test nation and put up a decent performance against them. Playing a 50-over game against Pakistan is a big positive for the team. In pursuit of 350 we didn’t want to get out in 30 overs and make a mockery of ourselves.”
The competition does not get any easier for UAE with their next game against a rampant South African side in Wellington on March 12. AB de Villiers’ team have exceeded 400 in their last two games and scored 339 in their first game.
Tauqir indicated the only way they could not suffer the same fate as Ireland and West Indies would be to bat first against the Proteas.
“It seems against South Africa the only way they can score 400 runs is win the toss and bat,” he said laughing. “We need to bowl well if we field first and field well to restrict them. We should not concede 400 plus runs (though) even now conceding 400 is not an embarrassing total. We will be putting in a lot of effort against South Africa.”