Abu Dhabi: Though it was a complete team effort that helped the UAE qualify for the International Cricket Council (ICC) World Twenty20, spinners Shadeep Silva and Nasir Aziz stood out with their spectacular performance in the ten-run win against the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Silva upset the Netherlands’ plans of getting a quick start by bowling a tight length to return with deadly figures of four overs, one maiden, nine runs and one wicket. He also took a spectacular catch at a crucial juncture of the game.
Aziz also excelled, with three wickets, producing a brilliant run-out and taking a fine return catch to dismiss danger man Ben Cooper. Both the star performers revealed that their performance had a lot to do with their lifelong ambition of playing in a World Cup.
Speaking to Gulf News, Silva, who won the man-of-the-match award, said: “It is my dream to play in a World Cup and hence I wanted to give my best. I am delighted that I have made all my teammates happy through my performance.”
Silva revealed that he followed Khurram Khan’s instructions to the full. “It was a low-scoring match and so my skipper had asked me to bowl wicket to wicket. In the first six overs, the Netherlands scored only 20 runs and this helped to mount pressure on them,” remarked the 35-year-old left-arm orthodox spinner.
Off-spinner Aziz revealed that he performed with the dream of qualifying for the World Cup. “I wanted to take as many wickets quickly to realise my dream of playing in a World Cup. I was so delighted when I picked early wickets,” he said
Aziz was instrumental in the dismissal of five Netherlands batsmen. “I am so happy that I took the opening batsman’s catch and picked three wickets, which also included the return catch, and also produced a run out. I was inspired by my desire to play in a World Cup in my life,” said Aziz, who starred with his fielding abilities.
“During training our coach Aaqib Javed had stressed on the importance of fitness. We all fielded brilliantly due to our improved fitness. It is because of our fitness that we are now being able to play back-to-back games giving our best,” said Aziz.