NAPIER: World Cup amateurs United Arab Emirates prepared to head home to their day jobs Sunday with words of thanks to Dale Steyn and Morne Morkel and one regret over a dropped catch against Ireland.
The UAE’s World cup comeback, 19 years after their one and only previous appearance, ended with a sixth straight loss when the West Indies pulled off a six-wicket win at McLean Park in Napier.
“It was a satisfactory performance from us, but we know we could have done better,” captain Mohammad Tauqir said.
“Overall the whole tournament has been very special for the whole team.”
Morkel and Steyn were singled out for a ferocious spell of intimidatory bowling which Tauqir took as recognition that his team of part-timers deserved to be part of cricket’s ODI showpiece.
“I’m very thankful to them for bowling to us they way they did,” said Tauqir, who scored three before he was bowled by Steyn.
“By facing them it gave us a lot of confidence. We almost played 48 overs in that match and it was the most hostile bowling we faced in this tournament.”
UAE’s closest game was against Ireland who won with two wickets in hand and just four balls to spare.
But that game turned when Ireland’s Kevin O’Brien was dropped on 24 on his way to notching a half century.
Tauqir was in no doubt that “if that catch was taken we would definitely have won that game.”
Meanwhile, Tauqir, a 43-year-old banker, and his fellow 43-year-old deputy Khurram Khan, an airline purser, prepared to put aside full-time cricket for a while but harboured thoughts of still being around in four years for the next World Cup.
“We have done a lot of hard work during the last eight or 10 months in preparation for this tournament and I feel pretty fit,” Tauqir said.
“I would like to definitely continue playing as long as I am enjoying the game and the same with Khurram.” AFP