Dubai: Vriitya Aravind is not willing to let go of his purple patch again as he joined skipper Muhammad Waseem to pummel the Singapore attack to give UAE a mammoth 201-run win in the ACC Premier Cup in Nepal on Sunday.
Electing to bat, Aravind joined Waseem in the third over and the two changed the complexion of the game with some breathtaking assault for the next 25 overs, putting on a 246-run partnership. The strapping Waseem was the aggressor and made Singapore bowlers feel the full might of his powerplay with an 82-ball 160, including 16 sixes.
Sliding from top to the bottom
Aravind, who was 81 when Waseem departed, continued to torment the hapless Singapore bowlers after reaching his century in the 33rd over. Despite losing wickets at the other end, the right-hander went on to score 73 more runs to take UAE 471 in 50 overs.
Aravind, who found himself going through a lean patch, regained his scoring touch to notch up his second big century in three matches. He also had two knocks of 90-plus scores and a half-century in the last 10 matches.
The wicketkeeper-batter had a blazing 2022 scoring runs at will and was also the player of the series in successive tours of Scotland and US. But suddenly the runs dried up this year and was getting out to innocuous deliveries. He even had two successive noughts in Nepal.
“I was on top of the world,” Aravind told Gulf News from Nepal where he has hit a new high. “After setting high standards, the expectation grows and everyone, including me, was looking at big scores in every game. For a couple of months, I didn’t know what’s happening, getting out to straight balls. Everyone goes through these patches. It’s not about the skills sets, it is more on the mental aspect,” added the 20-year-old showing great maturity.
Aravind said that the lean patch was a big learning experience and credited his family, friends and teammates to give him the morale boost, which helped him overcome the lean patch.
“I learnt more from bad patches than the good ones. While scoring runs you are on auto mode, but only when you are not getting runs, then you learn new things like grinding out an innings when things are not going your way. My teammates backed me and motivated me even when I scored back to back zeros. That was the key,” he said.
One such player is the former West Indian skipper Kieron Pollard, with whom he shared the dressing room in the inaugural International League Twenty20 for MI Emirates earlier this year. Aravind went on to add how Pollard took time out during the Pakistan Super League to text him with a motivating message.
“I watched him play on TV and the next morning I wake up to see the text message from Pollard, motivating me and telling me to enjoy the game and not to put extra pressure on myself just because of a rough patch. It helped me a lot,” added Aravind, who began to find his missing touch again almost immediately.
Teenage all-rounder Aayan Khan, who got a five-wicket haul against Hong Kong in the previous encounter, showcased his batting skills with a 50-ball 74 to add to Singapore’s woes. And his partnership with Aravind proved crucial in the final outcome as UAE lost five wickets in the last three overs.
Run machine in full steam
In reply, half-centuries from Manpreet Singh and Thilipan Omaidurai helped Singapore reach 270 for nine in 50 overs. Pacer Sanchit Sharma and spinners Aayan Khan and leggie Karthik Meiyappan claimed two wickets each.
After the loss to Hong Kong in the rain-interrupted tie on Friday, the big win over Singapore should boost the UAE’s morale ahead of their final clash of the league phase against Bahrain and help them book a place in the semifinals.
“In the last 10 games, it is just not me, but the whole batting unit has done incredibly well. It is a great confidence boost for us. Different guys performing in different games shows what a great side we are as a batting unit,” he said.
In the other match, Jatinder Singh’s century guided Oman to an eight-wicket win over Malaysia.