Dubai: UAE teenager Aayan Khan made a memorable debut with a meagre spell after getting his first international wicket in his maiden over and a battling 25 went in vain as Bangladesh showed their superior handling of their nerves in key moments to outwit the hosts in the first of the SkyExch Friendship Series at the Dubai International Stadium on Sunday.
Bangladesh left-hander Afif Hosain and Mehidy Hasan Miraz came to the visitors’ rescue in crucial moments to swing the narrow encounter in their favour.
“I played my best, I still believed that I could have made my team win. We tried our best, we will play another good game,” said Aayan Khan, who was excited to play against the team of his idol Shakib Al Hasan, who skipped this series to play in the Caribbean Premier League.
“It was a great experience for me to play for the country at the of 16. We will make more records in the future,” said a confident budding all-rounder who led UAE’s chase after being down 98 for 6 against the likes of veteran left-arm pacer Mustafizur Rahman.
UAE restricted Bangladesh to 158 and five and after a good start at 66 for one in 7.5 overs the UAE were in driving seat, but the wicket of UAE opener Chirag Suri against the run of play gave Bangladesh the much-needed breakthrough, which the visitors capitalised to dismantle the top-order. Mehidy, who is on a comeback trail, grabbed the chance to claim three crucial wickets.
If there is one area of weakness in the UAE ranks it is the lack of experience playing top-level teams, was the assessment of coach Robin Singh ahead of the match, which exactly caused the UAE the historic win against a Test-playing nation.
Had Suri and the batters who followed applied themselves a bit more, their hardwork would have borne fruits. But that was not to be, though they could still be proud of running Bangladesh close and keeping the 2018 Asian Cup finalists on the edge till the end to be all out for 151 with two balls to spare.
However, skipper CP Rizwan feels his players would have learnt from their mistakes and will make it count in the next game on Tuesday. “We don’t get to play Test nation quite often and when we get so close it is slightly disappointing,” said Rizwan.
Bangladesh, put in to bat, ran into determined UAE and found the going tough. But Afif Hosain made the most of the early reprieve and scored an unbeaten 77 and added invaluable 81 runs with skipper Nurul Hasan for the sixth wicket in nine overs.
“Fielding and death bowling were the areas that needed to be addressed. Our shot selection is another area that we need to improve. We pride ourselves and stress the point that whoever is set, will try to play longer. Lot of positives and look forward to the next game,” asserted Rizwan.