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Oman team celebrate their eight-run win over UAE in a close contest in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 at the ICC Academy grounds on Wednesday. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE skipper Ahmed Raza has issued a veiled ultimatum to the underperforming batters and wanted their performance to count in the team’s cause after suffering an eight-run loss to Oman in a thrilling contest in the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup League 2 at the ICC Academy on Wednesday.

“We made a lot of mistakes and that has cost us dear, especially the batters. I can’t ask anything more from the bowlers, but the batters really need to step up. You can give the batters only so many chances. It’s about time when you talk about change of personnel if things are not working your way,” said a gutted Raza after the hosts suffered a collapse from a position of strength at 183 for five, chasing 222, to be all out for 213 with nine balls to spare.

“The same batters are getting to 20s and 30s every game. It’s about converting those scores into a match-winning total. You can score your 50s but if the team doesn’t win then it doesn’t matter in the end. Personal milestones don’t really count,” he added.

The UAE missed a good opportunity to go to the second spot in the table and this must have come as a huge surprise for the UAE team management, especially after recent performances in Oman where they defeated the hosts in both formats of white-ball cricket with one match finishing in a tie.

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UAE's star batter Kashif Daud on the verge of getting run out, which gave Oman the toe-hold in the contest. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

The dismissal of Tuesday’s hero Basil Hameed opened the floodgates as Kashif Daud, another star against Namibia, also got run out immediately. The double strike boosted Oman’s confidence which helped them snatch victory from the hosts. Former UAE skipper Rohan Mustafa remained unbeaten on 23 after opener Chirag Suri made a well-compiled 63.

“Oman are a good team, you can’t take that away from them and they wanted to win more than us. We have shown a lot of trust in these batters and they are the ones who have won us the game three to four weeks before in Oman. It’s time they step up,” added Raza, who felt that the victory against table-toppers Oman would have given a lot of confidence to the UAE team apart from sending a strong signal to the opponents.

On the contrary, winning coach Duleep Mendis attributed the change in the fortunes to the availability of more arsenal in Oman’s ranks.

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Oman players celebrate the dismissal of UAE skipper Ahmed Raza, stumped by Naseem Khushi off Khawar Ali. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

“We couldn’t perform in Oman because we had a depleted squad. We managed to revive it and make a comeback. We know that the 50-over is important to us after losing the spot in the Twenty20 World Cup. But we have played in the Twenty20 twice before, so our focus is on the 50-over World Cup,” said the former Sri Lankan star batter. “The way we are progressing, we will end up in the top three. It’s now important to continue the winning streak.”

The UAE will be playing a total of five more One Day Internationals this month with 10 points at stake to strengthen their chances for a place in the Qualifiers in the World Cup 2023 to be held in India.

“The games are coming thick and fast and if someone is not able to adjust to the team plans, then as the saying goes ‘if you can’t change the person, change the person.’ I hope it doesn’t come to that,” Raza concluded as the UAE is entering a crucial phase in the qualifying with Nepal and PNG up next.

The scores:

Oman beat UAE by eight runs. Oman 221/7 in 50 overs (Kashyap Prajapati 44, Khawar Ali 63, Ayaan Khan 31, Zahoor Khan 4-51, Basil Hameed 2-23) UAE 213 in 48.3 overs (Chirag Suri 63, Vriitya Aravind 29, Basil Hameed 25, Rohan Mustafa 23 not out, Fayyaz Butt 3-28, Khawar Ali 2-37). Player of the match: Khawar Ali.