UAE skipper CP Rizwan (right), who scored an unbeaten 51, celebrates a wicket with young left-arm spinner Aayan Khan and Vriitya Aravind. Image Credit: Courtesy: ECB

Dubai: UAE skipper CP Rizwan’s unbeaten half-century and Basil Hameed’s fighting knock went in vain as Bangladesh produced a clinical performance to outplay UAE by 32 runs in the second and final Twenty20 international in the SkyExch Friendship Series at the Dubai International Stadium on Tuesday.

Bangladesh bought in their full-pace arsenal in the form of Taksin Ahmed and Ebodat Hossain and that pushed the UAE top-order on the backfoot. The pace trio of Taksin, Ebodat and Mohammad Saifuddin brought all their experience to the fore and bowled to a plan to reduce UAE to 29 for four in 6.4 overs.

Rizwan and Hameed, who was out after a battling 42, slowly brought the UAE’s chase back on track with a 90-run partnership in under 12 overs, but that was not enough to take the score past Bangladesh’s 169 for five in 20 overs, 11 runs more than the previous game on a better batting pitch.

Bangladesh batters proved their superior skills by taking their team to a competitive total against UAE. Image Credit: Courtesy: ECB

“When you lose wickets upfront, it is always going to be a patchwork. They showed their true quality today. It was too much of a task for Hameed and me to build a partnership, but we tried to keep going over by over. They showed their class and executed their skills, which is a learning curve for our bowlers, said Rizwan, who remained unbeaten on 51 as UAE finished at 137 for five.

Plenty of lessons learnt

Talking about the two-match series, Robin Singh, Director of Cricket, Emirates Cricket Board, said: “They looked like a better team today and we were outplayed. They have come much more prepared and executed it far better. Ours is a young side and a lot of lessons are to be learnt from these two games and a lot of good things have come out it. So going forward we can put all these things together and make it a much better performance.”

“We threw the last game away due to inexperience and some poor shots. We had the game to win, well and truly,” he said in the first match on Sunday where UAE lost by seven runs. “I thought we showed a pretty decent account of ourselves today, much better than the first game in terms of batting.”

The UAE looked almost perfect in their game, barring a few fielding lapses that have once again come to hound them. The bowlers bowled in the right areas and Aayan Khan and Karthik Meiyappan, the two young stars in the team, shone brightly with the ball. Karthik also bucked the trend of dropping catches by completing a diving catch to dismiss last game’s man of the match, Afif Hossain.

Bangladesh fans
Fans were treated to some exciting duels in the two-match Friendship Series between UAE and Bangladesh at Dubai International Stadium. Image Credit: Courtesy: ECB

Robin Singh also heaped praise on Hameed, who he says has realised his true potential in this game and that should boost his confidence for the World Cup.

“The positives from today’s match was the partnership between Basil and CP. Muhammad Waseem also looked good until he got out. The bowlers bowled perfect. Considering all that, we should have fielded better in both the games, which in my opinion cost us both the games. In the first game, if we had taken the catches it would have been less than 140 and today also few chances went down and gave away 15 runs extra. These are the things that make a huge difference,” Robin said as takeaways ahead of the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia.

Bowling at right areas

Mehdy Hasan Miraz, who shone with the ball in the previous game, showcased his batting skills to give Bangladesh a solid start with a 35-ball 46 while steady contributions came from all the batters all the way down. It was not a daunting target for the UAE, but the Bangladesh bowlers bowled in the right areas to make the scoring difficult for the UAE batters, who in turn succumbed to the pressure.

Sridharan Sriram, Technical Consultant for the Bangladesh Twenty20 team, was happy with the performance and felt the need to play all his pacers to assess the situation ahead of the World Cup.

“We wanted to rotate the fast bowlers and see who is ready for the World Cup,” Sriram said and the Tri-series in New Zealand also involving Pakistan is going to be a challenging tour ahead of the World Cup. “The conditions are going to be a lot different. Pakistan are playing good cricket at the moment and New Zealand are a great side at home. So it’s a different challenge for the boys and they are up for it.”