Head coach Dougie Brown was ‘gutted’ that the UAE missed out on qualification for the Asia Cup on home soil but has backed his players to bounce back strongly.
The UAE will have to watch the likes of Pakistan and India instead of facing them after Hong Kong beat them by two wickets in Thursday’s final to claim the lone berth for the main stage.
Brown’s troops scored 176-9 in an innings which started as a 50-over encounter before it was reduced to 24 overs due to rain. That score was largely thanks to aggressive batting from Ashfaq Ahmed’s 79 as well as quick-fire hitting from the rest of the team as UAE scored 114 runs in less than nine overs.
However, Hong Kong reached their revised target of 179 with three balls to spare to book dream ties with Pakistan and India in Group A later this month.
Despite the result, Brown was proud of his players’ efforts but questioned the Duckworth-Lewis method after only two runs were added for Hong Kong’s target.
“Am pretty gutted about the outcome,” said the 48-year-old. “The rain intervened at inappropriate times. To get where we got to was an outstanding effort by the batsmen and to score around a hundred runs in the last eight overs was a phenomenal effort. Hong Kong took the game to us and every time they did a mistake, it went into their favour. It was one of those days where it didn’t go our way.
Thanks for your hospitality Kuala Lumpur. Absolutely gutted we couldn’t get across the line yesterday. So proud of every member of the squad @emiratescricket Mr Duckworth and Mr Lewis need to have another look at the modern game! pic.twitter.com/LaQueyyhb3— Dougie Brown (@dougie1brown) September 7, 2018
“Just a two-run adjustment was added to the score after spending so long in our innings in a 24-over game. I thought this was the kind of thing that the Duckworth-Lewis method was meant to avoid and is hasn’t. Yet, we did really well considering things went against us and we deserve a lot of credit for that.”
He added: “Having said that, we can compete and have got a team of guys who will give everything when they need to do. That is one of the biggest changes that I have seen as UAE coach and I cannot talk more highly of the players for the way they played their cricket in this tournament.
“I can tell you we are hungry and I expect them to react in a positive way to everything as this moment (of missing out) is something we do not want to suffer again.”
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