UAE get another crack at qualifying for T20 World Cup
Ben Cooper of the Netherlands plays a shot during the first qualifying play-off against the UAE on Tuesday. - M. Sajjad
Dubai - The hosts go down to the Netherlands but take on Scotland in the third qualifying play-off on Wednesday
UAE cricket has seen worst days, more so in the lead up and over the course of the ICC Men's T20 World Cup Qualifiers. In that context, Tuesday would've felt not so bad although UAE's likely progression to Australia next year encountered a dent.
Whether that dent turns into wreck will be known on the morrow as the UAE, like a cat has nine lives, have another chance to swing it their way and hopefully book their tickets Down Under.
The hosts will get another crack at it when they go up against Scotland in a third qualifying play-off at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium on Wednesday.
It shouldn't have come down to this had the UAE got the better of the Netherlands at the same venue on Tuesday. But then, the Dutchmen, aided by their effective fast men - Brandon Glover, who snapped up four wickets, Paul van Meekeren and Fred Klaassen, ensured that the hosts were swallowed by the gremlins in the pitch.
The result was an eight-wicket humbling lesson for the UAE, which they will have little time to ponder over. Captain Ahmed Raza said as much.
"My style of captaincy is I hardly talk after a loss and I don't think it is very healthy to do that," Raza said after the game on Tuesday.
"We are professional cricketers, we all know where we lack, what kind of intent we need for tomorrow (Wednesday). You can only talk about positive. After a loss, it is very easy to point fingers or to look at the bad things. Personally, I don't like to have a long chat after a loss. I think it is better to just let it go, turn up tomorrow (Wednesday) and have another crack at it.
"It is disappointing but I think a quick turnaround does wonders to you as well because if you have a few days off, you are going to keep thinking about the loss. So, I think the quick turnaround should go in our favour," he added.
Netherlands, meanwhile, made it a third successive appearance at the T20 World Cup after 2014 and 2016 in Bangladesh and India respectively.
They take on Ireland in the semis on Friday.
UAE: 80-9 in 20 overs (Ahmed Raza 22, Waheed Ahmed 19, Mohammed Boota 16, Sultan Ahmed 11, Brandon Glover 4-12, Timm van der Gugten 2-10, Paul van Meekeren 2-13) lost to Netherlands: 81-2 in 15.1 overs (Ben Cooper 41 not out, Colin Ackermann 18, Ryan ten Doeschate 11 not out) by 8 wickets.
Man of the Match: Brandon Glover (Netherlands).
UAE vs Scotland, Dubai International Cricket Stadium, 2.10 p.m