Abu Dhabi: UAE colts put up another inspired performance with the bat but fell short by 42 runs chasing England’s mammoth total of 300 in the under-19 tri-series here at the Oval 2 on Sunday.
All credit should go to the way opener Chirag Suri batted for his 100-ball 70 that kept UAE in the hunt. Suri had already caught the eye of the UAE coach Aaquib Javed and he will be boarding the flight for the 50-over World Cup qualifiers in New Zealand early next year.
The 18-year-old showed that he has all the shots in his armoury and the temperament to play at the big level. He read the situation well, played the balls on their merits and even dispatched the bad ones with relentless ease.
“I’m really impressed with Chirag and he is going to New Zealand with the senior team,” said Javed. “Now, I’m thinking of including even few more players. There is lot of talent in this young lot.”
What let the hosts down was their inability to put the brakes on the visitors in the death overs. Skipper Rohit Singh’s ploy of bringing himself into the final overs once again backfired, like in the match against Pakistan. England’s top scorer Joe Clarke went after him in the 49th over and scored five boundaries on the trot.
Clarke’s aggressive unbeaten knock of 81 and his unbroken partnership of 108 runs with Rob James (37 not out) was the highlight of England’s innings. Both the middle-order batsmen swelled the scoreboard after Jonathan Tattersall scored a hard-fought 73-ball 40. Ed Barnard (58-ball 53) and Will Rhodes (30-ball 35) were the other major contributors for England.
The UAE bowlers, at one stage, managed to reduce England to 146 for 5 after 30 overs. However, No 7 batsman Clarke and No 8 James (37 not out) came to the team’s rescue and scored at a brisk pace to see England to their total.
The UAE gave away 40 in their last two overs.
Brief Scores: England 300 for 6 (Joe Clarke 81 not out, Rob James 37 not out, Ed Barnard 53, Johnathan Tattersall 40, Will Roads 35, Justin James 48 for 1, Sharuk Ahmad 58 for 2) beat UAE 258 all out in 49.1 overs (Chirag Suri 70, Shivank Vijaykumar 28, Sharuk Ahmad 32, Johnathan Tattersall 3 for 34, Harry Finch 2 for 14, Rob Jones 2 for 37.