Oman players celebrate after defeating UAE in their previous clash at the ICC Academy on Thursday. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: UAE skipper Ahmed Raza has once again reiterated the age-old adage that catches win matches as the hosts take on Namibia in the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 encounter in Sharjah on Saturday.

“Our catching has cost us a lot of runs to be honest. In the last few games, every time we drop a catch, it’s the same batter who goes on to score a match-winning 70 or an 80 or get into a crucial partnership. It’s something which is happening quite too often and that’s been costing us a few extra runs,” Raza said.

Late charge

The UAE have lost two close games to Oman and pulled off a stunning victory over Namibia, who rallied from 53 for six to make 206 for eight. Even in their previous encounter, Oman scored 31 runs in the last 2.3 overs. However, the UAE skipper is not worried about the late charge made by the opponents as they are bound to happen in One Day Internationals.

“You can’t complain about that as when they have the wickets they are bound to go for their shots. What we need to improve is our catching. It’s about saving those runs, which were giving on the field and taking those opportunities that come our way so that the opposition don’t get away.”

Oman are topping the table with 36 points after an easy win over Namibia at Sharjah Stadium on Friday. Riding on Shoaib Khan’s unbeaten century, Oman chased the stiff target of 276 with ease and won the contest by seven wickets in their 27th match, which is twice the number of matches to that of UAE (13 matches, 14 points) and second-placed Scotland (12 matches, 16 points).

Strong message

“Oman’s number of points doesn’t matter as they have played twice the number of matches than us. But when you beat the table-toppers it does a lot to your confidence and also sends out a strong message to the other teams. We are gutted at not being able to get the four points,” Raza added after losing the first game against Oman by 12 runs and then losing the second round by eight runs after being in a position of strength.

“We really need to look hard at ourselves and we can’t be lagging so much behind in the table as there’s not much of a difference between us and Namibia and Scotland. These were the opportunities that we could have gone past them.”

The UAE are targeting the two points on offer against Namibia and then hope for a better show against Nepal and PNG, with the tri-series beginning on March 15.

“We have five more ODIs to play in this month and there are 10 points at stake. So we want to finish this series by hopefully beating Namibia in Sharjah and then moving to Nepal and PNG. We hope to get the two more points and move to second on the table. From there on we will see,” he added.