Dubai: The UAE are seeking a morale-boosting win over Namibia in their last match of Group A in Geelong on Thursday.
The CP Rizwan’s team, a mixture of youth and experienced, stand a very slim of chance of qualifying for the Super 12 stage after two losses against Netherlands and Sri Lanka in the two matches so far.
A victory against Namibia will be give the confidence for the many home-grown talents in the team. Vice-captain Vriitya Aravind, Karthik Meiyappan, Aryan Lakra and teenager Aayan Khan all under age 22. The experience of this World Cup will hold them in good stead even if they fail to qualify for the Super 12.
Meiyappan, who only became the fifth bowler in the history of the Twenty20 World Cup to claim a hat-trick in the previous match against Sri Lanka, and Aayan Khan have been the standout performers.
Fahad replaces Zawar
Meanwhile, UAE have replaced Zawar Farid with travelling reserve Fahad Nawaz after the all-rounder had fractured his left foot.
The International Cricket Council approved several injury replacements on Wednesday. England’s chances suffered a blow after bowler Reece Topley has been ruled out of the Twenty20 World Cup with an ankle injury just days before their tournament opener against Afghanistan.
The paceman rolled his left ankle during a fielding drill ahead of England’s warm-up win over Pakistan in Brisbane on Monday.
Scans confirmed significant ligament damage and the giant left-arm seamer was withdrawn from the squad, with fellow left-armer Tymal Mills promoted from his previous status as travelling reserve.
Topley has overcome multiple stress fractures in his back in recent years to become a key player in England’s white-ball sides.
The 28-year-old is currently ranked as the second-best seamer in T20 internationals, in a list dominated by spinners.
England have other left-arm options in Sam Curran and David Willey while Chris Woakes, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan and all-rounder Ben Stokes are their other seam bowlers.
Jos Buttler’s 50-over world champions start their campaign against Afghanistan in Perth on Saturday.
Double trouble for Sri Lanka
Resurgent Sri Lanka had double trouble when Dushmantha Chameera, who starred in his team’s 79-run win over UAE on Tuesday, has been ruled out due to a torn left calf muscle and Kasun Rajitha, another travelling reserve. takes his place. In addition, Danushka Gunathilaka, who has a left hamstring tear, will be replaced by Ashen Bandara.
Sri Lanka have already lost left-arm fast bowler Dilshan Madushanka, who was ruled out of the tournament with a quadriceps muscle tear and replaced in the squad by Binura Fernando.
The Asia Cup champions face the unbeaten Netherlands in their final Group A game in Geelong on Thursday.